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FAYETTEVILLE — Fire department officials recognized personnel who have gone above and beyond the call of duty at the annual banquet Saturday, Assistant Chief Thomas Good said.

Charles Birdsong received the Fire Warrior award for demonstrating exceptional operations/planning/management skills by a junior fire officer.

Tony Gage was named Fire Officer of the Year for demonstrating outstanding leadership abilities throughout the year.

Martin Striefler was recognized as Firefighter of the Year for being a good mentor or coach for other department members.

Nathan Wood, Will Beeks, Jeremy Ashley and Lance Selph were named Fire Company of the Year for consistently operating above and beyond the normal expectation.

Delbert Reibert received the Chiefs’ Award as a firefighter who exhibited exceptional leadership and performance throughout the year.

Officials also acknowledged many for their work in specific incidences through five meritorious service awards. Each can be given to multiple employees.

Capt. Amy Kelly, driver/ operator Randy Woodard and firefighter Kyle Martin were honored for their help in delivering a baby Nov. 16 in a College Avenue back alley. They assisted with wrapping the infant and cutting the umbilical cord. The quick efforts of the crew were instrumental in the initial resuscitation of the infant, according to the news release.

In addition to recognition and a certificate, the crew was awarded stork pins to be worn on their Class B uniform because of their involvement in a birth.

Capt. Larry Balding and firefighters Kyle Coffee and James Key were acknowledged for their work during flooding on April 29. The crew of Rescue 1 responded to numerous calls from morning until late into the night. They rescued eight people from vehicles stranded in moving water and helped a 14-year-old girl who was trapped alone in a house get to her parents.

“The bravery and cooperation demonstrated by this crew, working alone, effected numerous rescues while working in a driving rainstorm exemplifies the ‘can-do’ attitude of all our members,” according to the release.

Assistant Chief Harley Hunt, Wood and Ashley earned a service award for jumping into action to find and help a hiker having a medical emergency Sept. 25 while they were at Mount Magazine for a conference.

Capt. Timothy Howerton, Capt. Braden Flood, Capt. Clint Price, Capt. Jerry Kelly, Coffee and drivers/ operators Josh Knight, Chris Reibert and Matt Daniels were acknowledged for their life-saving efforts at Hero Half Marathon on Oct. 15.

A runner went into cardiac arrest just short of the finish line, and the crew worked to shock his heart back into normal rhythm. The runner made a full recovery.

Balding, Capt. Randall Coker, Price, Capt. Russel Hulse, driver/operator Woodrow Mulherin and firefighters Kyle Trow-bridge, Jose Hatten and Coffee were awarded for helping resuscitate a child who had been underwater in a pool June 10.

Comings, goings

Mayor Lioneld Jordan swore in six new firefighters who were hired in 2017. Rodney Colson, the department’s new Fire Protection Engineer, also was acknowledged. Personnel who retired in 2017 include Jerry Lloyd, Chris Layman and Justin Clark.

Source: Fayetteville Fire Department

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