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Boonsboro's top firefighter makes a difference

February 07, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

Boonsboro firefighter and EMT Patrick Warner was named The First Hose Co. of Boonsboro’s Firefighter of the Year at a Jan. 29 awards banquet at Cochran Auction Complex, according to Chief Oley Griffith.

Warner, 53, said he has been with Boonsboro’s Station Six for 12 years and has been firefighting since he was 16.

“I’ve lost two parents due to heart attack,” he said in a phone interview Monday. “I can’t do nothing about my parents — maybe I can make a difference for yours or someone else’s.”

Warner, who plans to retire soon from active firefighting, said the past year was rough for him, with the loss of his brother, brother-in-law and best friend.

“All the guys that work at the fire station, they know this, and this is my other family,” Warner said. “They know when one of us hurts, we kind of all hurt together.”

He said he was surprised to be recognized as Firefighter of the Year.

“This is just something that we do all the time,” he said.

Warner said he thought the real award should go to his fiancee, for “countless dinners left set.”

“She sits home waiting, worrying, never knowing am I going to come back through that door or is she going to get that call that she has to go to Washington County Hospital and pick me up,” he said.

Firefighter of the Year was one of 18 awards given to top-performing firefighters, rescuers, administrators and other volunteers at the event.

The banquet, which also included a social hour, dinner and dancing, is an annual tradition for the fire company, Griffith said.

“It’s here to show our appreciation to the hardworking members, and it’s letting the public know what our people are doing throughout the year, sacrificing their time and their training hours that they’re putting in,” Griffith said. “As a volunteer organization, I think it’s very important.”

More than 150 people attended the banquet, Griffith said.

Liz Jones, an aide for Sen. Christopher B. Shank, presented the fire company with a resolution from the Maryland Senate praising the company for 180 years of service to the Boonsboro community.

The company also honored 10 individual members who each had 25 or more years of service. Topping that list was John Negley with 45 years of service.

The company includes Station Six, in Boonsboro, and Station 8, a substation in Rohrersville, Md.

The award recipients were:

  • Firefighter of the year: Patrick Warner

  • Rookie of the year: Travis Nalley

  • Fire line officer of the year, Co. 6: Tommy Arnold

  • Fire line officer of the year, Co. 8: Vern Wachtner

  • Top responder, Co. 6: David Lewis

  • Top responder, Co. 8: Scott Norris

  • EMS Award: Scott Norris

  • Fire Prevention Award: John Sherwood

  • Votec Program: Brandon Beall, Travis Nalley

  • Training Award: Brandon Beall

  • Most dedicated member, Co. 8: Bryan Kaetzel

  • Administration award: Jen Mouhl

  • Fundraising award: Steve Mouhl

  • President award: Chief Oley Griffith

  • Chief Award: Troy Lloyd

  • Fire police: John Negley, Don Shumaker, Wayne Shoemaker and Courtney Hirsh

  • EMS lifesaving award: Keith Abrecht, Joe Forsythe, Scott Hipkins, Oley Griffith and Josh Eisenhower

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