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Employee's idea earns award

December 15, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

Phil Ridenour has received Washington County's quarterly Innovative, Dedicated Employee Award (IDEA) for his work in establishing a fire and rescue department at the Hagerstown Regional Airport.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop presented the award to him during Tuesday's County Commissioners meeting.

"I think it's great," Ridenour, 39, said after the meeting.

"I really didn't expect it. I don't know that I honestly deserve it," he said.

In 1996 Ridenour did all of the work involved in starting the Airfield Rescue and Firefighting Unit at the Hagerstown airport in 1996 and initially ran it as a one-person department, Airport Manager Carolyn Motz said. It is now a four-member department.

For 23 years, he has volunteered 20 to 30 hours a week at the Maugansville Volunteer Fire Department, she said.

He was nominated by Motz.

"Now I know why she (Motz) told me I had to be here," he said. She was at the meeting to make a presentation on an unrelated item.

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Motz had told him he needed to be at the presentation but not why, he said.

Motz said he is always polite and even-tempered.

"He is probably the most unselfish person I have ever met," Motz said.

"Phil is always in a state of readiness when it comes to the airport. He is here in minutes when it snows, without being called, to assist snow removal crews on the runway," she said.

As winner of the award, he receives a $500 check and a paid day off.

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