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Firefighters honored at banquet

February 26, 2002

Fifteen Hagerstown firefighters have been recognized for outstanding service.

Awards were given out Saturday night during the Hagerstown Fire Department's 20th annual Awards Banquet.

C. Kingsley Poole, a recently retired battalion chief, received the Chief's Award, "for setting an example of dedication and devotion which the entire fire department should follow," the award announcement said.

City Fire Chief Gary Hawbaker said Poole exemplifies the best of the city's firefighters.

Poole also received a Special Award of Excellence, for his more than 31 years of paid and volunteer service to the Hagerstown Fire Department.

Toby Higgins was named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year, "in recognition of your responses, in-station time, training and public education efforts," the announcement said.

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Higgins and volunteer Jeff Snyder received the Honor Deed Firefighter award for trying to save the life of a co-worker on a construction job on Feb. 8, 2001.

Hawbaker said that while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Higgins and Snyder performed CPR for about 25 minutes on a man who had a heart attack. The man later died, Hawbaker said.

Commendations went to the 10 Hagerstown volunteer firefighters who responded to the most incidents. They were Higgins, Edward L. Bryan, James L. Sprecher Jr., Tony L. Lida, Scott W. Leffel, David C. Sheppard, Travis J. Barkdoll, Harold W. Semler, Frank L. Shupp and Gerald W. Saum.

Others receiving a Special Award of Excellence for long paid and volunteer careers with the fire department were Larry D. Williams, Mitchell B. Gearhart and John M. Hersh.

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