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Hagerstown Fire Department doles out honors

February 19, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

Years of service, devotion to duty and special efforts were lauded Saturday night at the Hagerstown Fire Department's annual awards banquet.

The following awards and honors were handed out:

· Mike Weller, public educator, was named honor deed firefighter for his "intervention and fortitude in getting help for a 9-year-old boy" and his family, thus saving them from "a fire that never occurred."

· Charles T. "Tom" Brown Sr., a recently retired fire marshal, won the chief's award for more than 32 years of service, "which set an example of dedication and devotion for the entire department to follow."

· James Stevens and Ronald Randall earned awards of excellence for their 31 years each in service to the Hagerstown Fire Department and citizens.

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· Also earning awards of excellence were the Antietam Fire Co. for recruitment and retention of firefighters; and Franklin W. Ridenour and Richard Gilbert for nine years each on the manpower committee.

· John Murray was named career firefighter of the year for creating and developing the safety committee, which has "Everyone Goes Home" as its creed.

· Christopher Gelwicks received a certificate of appreciation for six years of service as an aggressive and competent firefighter.

· James L. Sprecher Jr., who responded to 254 calls in 2007, received a plaque as the top volunteer firefighter who responded to the most incidents.

· Certificates of commendation went to the next nine top responders in 2007: Corey M. Sprecher, 215 calls; Travis J. Barkdoll, 192; Bryan M. Snyder, 184; Robert L. McGhee, 174; James B. Forberger, 139; Steven W. Jacobs, Kathryn A. Souza and Tina J. Conner, with 93 calls each; and Brenda J. Unger, 72 calls.

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