Unsung heroes honored at Jefferson Co. Chamber banquet

October 23, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Jefferson County's fire, police and emergency medical personnel who provide outstanding service and act as "our homeland security" were honored during a banquet at Charles Town Races & Slots Wednesday night.

It is the third year the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the track have teamed up to sponsor the banquet.

"This is a wonderful event and we just hope it grows and grows and grows every year," said master of ceremonies Edward "Pat" Dockeney.


Special recognitions went out to several groups and individuals, including Trooper R.J. "Bobby" Elswick and Scott Edward Paugh, two West Virginia State Police Troopers who were seriously injured in two separate incidents before last year's banquet was held.

Elswick was shot in the head while responding to a call last October in Hedgesville, W.Va., and Paugh was hurt in May of last year when a car went left of center on Golf Course Road in Berkeley County and struck his cruiser.

Both men are recovering from their injuries.

Other special recognitions went to Project Impact, an emergency preparedness group in the county, the Jefferson County Special Operations Response Team and a Jefferson County canine unit.

In past years, winners were named in the police, emergency medical provider and volunteer fire categories. This year, organizers decided to simply honor everyone.

Those honored in the volunteer emergency medical care field were:

  • Teresa Edwards, an emergency medical technician with Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co. who stays at the station for long periods to allow for faster response to emergencies.

  • Christopher Scott Higdon, member of the Friendship Fire Co., who shows extreme passion for the field and who splits his time as a volunteer and commuter.

  • Wendy Lynne Bowman, an Independent Fire Co. member who became an emergency medical technician at 17 and who has responded to more than 1,700 calls.

  • Rolfe M. "Pete" Kelley, who was honored for his "superb" expertise at the Shepherdstown Fire Department and the numerous patients he has extended care to.

Those honored in fire service were:

  • Larry R. Herbst Jr., a Blue Ridge Mountain Fire Co. member who has received many awards, including most calls as an officer and fire fighter.

  • Eric Lee Scott, a Citizens Fire Co. member who was named 2002 rookie of the year and who has put in 280 hours of training.

  • John Jefferson Ours Jr., a Friendship Fire Co. member who started in the field when he was 16.

  • Donald Lee Longerbeam, who has served as fire instructor, lieutenant and assistant fire chief at Independent Fire Co. for many years.

  • Ross Louthan Morgan, who has received numerous awards over the years through the Shepherdstown Fire Department and is known for his willingness to "drop everything" to take a call.

Those honored in the police category were:

  • Michael A. Dumer, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Department deputy who raised money for and organized a police dog unit for the department which specializes in narcotics detection.

  • Brian E. Mason, a Ranson (W.Va.) Police Department officer who has expertise in many fields, including counter terrorism and who is the only officer in the state who also works as a code enforcement officer.

  • Robert M. Maraugha Jr., a Shepherdstown Police Department officer who was honored for his life-saving efforts and his organization of a teens' night out event at Shepherd College.

  • James Carlton Long, a West Virginia State Police trooper who is in charge of maintaining a sex offender registry in the county and who has made numerous arrests relating to the list.

  • Sean Denis McCarthy was honored in the career emergency medical category. McCarthy, a paramedic with the Jefferson County Ambulance Authority, was honored for his patient care and his "can do, will do" personality.
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