By Walter Hojka
The South Fork Volunteer Fire Department (SFVFD) held its annual banquet on April 30 at the department’s fire hall in Brandywine. The program included remarks from Moorefield Fire Chief Doug Mongold and State Senator Bill Hamilton.
Officers for the fire department and the auxiliary were installed, and outstanding service awards were presented by both the SFVFD and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #9666 (VFW).
Mongold, who is a member of the West Virginia State Firemen’s Association, spoke about the lobbying efforts the group is undertaking with the West Virginia Legislature to ensure adequate funding for volunteer fire departments. He encouraged departments to apply for available grants and for members to attend the state convention.
Sen. Hamilton expressed appreciation for Pendleton County Commissioner Carole Hartman, who died April 4. He recalled that they worked on several projects together.
“Many people don’t know how much she did,” he said.
Hamilton also spoke in favor of increased funding for the volunteer fire departments in the state and encouraged people to contact their representatives in the Legislature.
The VFW presented three certificates. Ruby Crown received a certificate of commendation for service as a member of the Franklin Rescue Squad. Fire Chief Roy Bowers was recognized as Fireman of the Year, and County Sheriff Chad Bowers received recognition as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Roy Bowers presented awards on behalf of the SFVFD. Junior Fireman of the Year was presented to Joshua Parker. An Outstanding Leadership award was presented to Seth Bowers. An Outstanding Service award was presented to Bob Grimm. Fireman of the Year was awarded to Timmy Hook.
Two awards were presented to Nila Bland. She received both the Auxillary Member of the Year Award and the Most Dedicated Award. Bland has been a member of the auxiliary for 30 years.
Gregory Dyer, department chief, reported that 982 man-hours of service were provided in 2021, up from 842 in 2020.