Post 102 salutes emergency responders

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 30, 2006

AHOSKIE – It was their time to shine.

Hertford County emergency responders found themselves in the spotlight here Thursday evening where a tribute was held in their honor by Hertford County American Legion Post 102.

The local Legion hosted their annual Law Enforcement and Public Service Appreciation and Awards Banquet, their way of honoring the highly skilled men and women who make up the county’s law enforcement, fire and rescue units.

“We appreciate what you do everyday for the citizens of this county,” said Herbert V. Lassiter, a Post 102 member who served as the Master of Ceremonies at the event. “You are not paid enough for the service you provide to the county.”

Three awards were given at the banquet n Hertford County Sheriff’s Lt. Marty Davis (Law Enforcement Officer of the Year), Hertford County EMS member Billy Deans (Emergency Medical Technician of the Year) and Ahoskie Fireman John Bradley (Firefighter of the Year).

“God and the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office, that’s my life,” Davis said upon accepting his award. “This means so much to me coming from my peers.”

Sheriff Vaughan, Jones and Chuck Munford, president of the Hertford County Firefighters Association, gave brief remarks.

“I’ll put Hertford County law enforcement officers up against anybody in the state,” Sheriff Vaughan said, referencing his officers as well as Ahoskie, Murfreesboro and Winton town police, the emergency response telecommunications team and the local office of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. “I thank each of you for the outstanding jobs you do. We all work so well together.”

The Sheriff said being an emergency responder meant having to live with suspense.

“We never know what we’ll face on a daily basis,” he noted, “but we never backed down from any situation. We’re there to get the job done in order to protect and serve the citizens of this county.”

Munford spoke on what it took to become a professional in the emergency response field.

“Law enforcement, fire and rescue are challenging professions that come with sacrifices,” Munford said. “What makes a professional? Someone who strives to be the best they can be and someone who loves their job. I feel we have some great professionals in Hertford County who are the best in my book and who love what they do.”

Munford urged the public to support fundraisers hosted by volunteer emergency response units.

“When you see a fire department or rescue squad putting on an event in an effort to raise money, please give them your support,” Munford said. “Remember, the money they raise to purchase better equipment is not for them, but rather for you.”

Jones addressed the growing need from a medical standpoint to have highly trained responders serve as the first line of action.

“I’m proud of our emergency medical responders here in Hertford County,” Jones said. “They have undergone intense training to gain EMS-I certification, a move upwards in their line of work which, by the way, did not cost the taxpayers of Hertford County one dime.”

Jones said Hertford County EMS answered over 4,000 calls last year. He added that the local emergency responders are also trained in water rescue and search and rescue.

“What makes a big difference in our line of work is the fact that we work so well with the sheriff’s office, the town police departments and fire departments here in Hertford County,” Jones concluded. “Together, we are partners to serve you.”

Also taking part in the banquet was Post 102 Chaplin William Reid, Glenda Simmons, who sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” and Post 102 Commander Richard Grimes.

“Being a volunteer fireman in Hertford County, I know what you go through. I can say the same for law enforcement and EMS. Saying that, then this is for you,” said Grimes as he led the audience in a standing ovation for the emergency responders.

Legion Post 102 established a Law and Order committee in 2000 in an effort to honor the men and women who serve the Hertford County citizens through law enforcement and public service.