220 Jewett Blvd, PO Box 218, White Salmon, WA 98672 | 509.493.2112
Firefighters honored at annual appreciation dinner
Awards given out
White Salmon volunteer fireman of the year Jerry Anson and Capt. Greg Holtman
February 05, 2013
On the third Sunday evening of January, Klickitat County Fire District No. 3 and the White Salmon Volunteer Fire Department held a combined Firefighter Appreciation and Awards Dinner for the third consecutive year.
The dinner was held at Fire District No. 3's headquarters, Station 31, in Husum. About 100 people -- volunteers from the two departments, their families, retired volunteers, and dignitaries -- attended the event. A prime rib dinner was served, followed with a presentation of awards.
Fire District No. 3 Assistant Chief Jerry Nelson began the evening's ceremonies by pointing out that there are several volunteers holding dual membership in both departments, thus starting to bridge the gap of working together as one department. He also introduced several new volunteers who have stepped up in service of the joint goal of being able to provide the Fire District and White Salmon with the best volunteer force they can muster.
White Salmon Chief Bill Hunsaker led off the presentations with the award for Junior Firefighter of the Year. Cedar Willey received the plaque for this honor. Chief Hunsaker then presented his department's annual Fickle Finger of Fate award. The plaque went to Captain Steve Gussick for inadvertently laying 800 feet of fire hose down Highway 14.
Capt. Greg Holtman then came to the podium to honor the White Salmon Volunteer of the Year. This well-deserved award went to Firefighter Jerry Anson, who responded to several major fire events and worked more than 24 hours without a break during the Highway 141 fire.
Assistant Chief Nelson was next at the podium. He began by presenting a plaque to Capt./EMT Michael Renault, honoring him as Fire District No. 3's Firefighter of the Year. Capt. Renault spent countless hours in his role as the district's EMS officer, which included spearheading the successful effort to obtain a transport license for the District Ambulance (Medic 316).
"Mike also fills the role of assistant training officer, taking on a large share of our day-to-day training presentations," Nelson noted.
Firefighter Amy Long was the recipient of a special award for her exceptional effort.
"Amy is a rookie, but you would never now it if you saw her in action. She is everywhere, always doing something. Of special note were her long hours and dedication heading up the committee for the fire district's first spaghetti dinner held in many years this past October," Nelson said.
Amy contacted those in the business community seeking support for a silent auction at the dinner and got the ball rolling for the food served.
"The dinner, intended to be a thank-you dinner for the people in the community, was a rousing success. Thanks flowed in all directions and our volunteer association made some money on the event," Nelson noted.
In addition to the annual awards, two retirees who left Fire District No. 3 in 2012 were honored with framed resolutions, signed by the Fire Commissioners, thanking them for their years of service. First to be recognized was firefighter Chuck Jacobs, who had a combined 25 years, which included service to Lincoln County Dist. 7, the White Salmon Fire Department, and Fire District No. 3. Chuck served as White Salmon's training officer for a time, helped with maintenance and put in his share of hours constructing fire stations over the years. Chuck intends to come back to Fire District No. 3 in a non-firefighting volunteer role to lend a helping hand with maintenance and construction. The next resolution was issued to Barbra Kuhlman who served 16 years with the fire district as an EMT/RN.
"Barbara responded to the aid of those needing medical assistance and was also our lead person when it came to administering flu shots and other vaccinations to the volunteers," Nelson said.
Both Jacobs and Kuhlman, he added, "will be missed and their service is a testament to what being a volunteer is all about - serving our community."