Meherrin Fire and Rescue Holds Annual Awards Banquet

   Written by on January 25, 2018 at 11:29 am

meherrin fire awards banquetMEHERRRIN – The Meherrin Volunteer Fire and Rescue held their annual awards banquet this past Saturday, January 20, in the Meherrin Bingo Hall. Prince Edward Sheriff Wesley Reed, Prince Edward Board of Supervisors, Howard Simpson and Jerry Townsend, and Lunenburg Board of Supervisors, Wayne Hoover and Robert Zava were among those attending the ceremony honoring the members of the department that serve over 130 square miles of both counties.

Andrew Pullen, Chief of Kents Store Volunteer Fire Department was the guest speaker. Pullen is a supporter of health and safety issues for volunteer fire departments and is currently advocating legislation to widen workman’s compensation benefits for firefighters diagnosed with cancer. An avid supporter of volunteer fire departments, Pullen addressed issues that many departments are seeing including recruitment and retention in a millennial generation and funding to continue operating. Pullen urged those present to “become engaged with local politicians, not just on a county level, but also on state and national levels to advocate for yourselves.  Volunteer Fire Departments are so much more than we realize. They are a way of life for us, [as firefighters] but the fire house is the center of the community. Local volunteer fire departments represent what our country is all about—serving and protecting our community.” Pullen urged the supporters gathered to “continue to grow the organization and to protect what you have here.”

The Meherrin Volunteer Fire and Rescue provides fire and advanced life support medical services to roughly 3,500 citizens. According to former Fire Chief Leon Scott in his report of activities for 2017, the fire department responded to over 120 calls. Scott also reported that thanks to the truck committee, a reconditioned truck will be added to the current lineup of available equipment. Former EMS Captain Trey Pyle reported the EMS crew responded to 422 calls in 2017. The EMS has added paid responders to their staff having someone available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This has decreased their response time to less than five minutes from receiving a call to being in route and less than 20 minutes to arriving on the scene.

Trey Pyle, the 2018 Fire Chief, and Jerry Barton, 2018 President, presented years of service awards to Tommy Dix (5), Derrice Lee (5), Erin Newman (5), Sally Pyle (5), Jacob Taylor (5), Jerry Barton (10), David Newman (15), Trey Pyle (15), Ernie Pyle, Sr. (25), Leon Scott (25), and Donnie Herzig (45).

The Firefighter of the Year Award was presented to Leon Scott and EMT of the Year Award was presented to Trey Pyle. David Gray received the J.T. Newman Training Award and Jacob Taylor received the Outstanding Service Award for 2017.

Chief Andrew Pullen presided over the installation of the new slate of officers for 2018. The 2018 Administrative Officers are Jerry Barton, President; Donnie Herzig, Vice President; Kelli Taylor, Secretary; Erin Newman, Treasurer, and Charles Barton, Chaplain. The 2018 Operational Officers are Trey Pyle, Chief, Leon Scott, Assistant Chief, Jacob Taylor, Captain, and Sally Pyle, EMS Captain.

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