Firefighters give out annual awards

Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

Local firefighters were recognized Saturday evening for their volunteer efforts throughout the year.

The Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department and Crescent Fire Protection District filled the auditorium of the Crescent City Cultural Center to celebrate.

"We've got this tremendous group of people here who risk lives every day," said Fire Chief Steve Wakefield. "It's our way of recognizing their efforts."

Wakefield began the ceremony being interrupted by a fire call before

leading into a presentation of a photo timeline commemorating former

Fire Chief Don Olson's volunteer service.

Olson passed away at the age of 84 earlier this year. He was the

chief of the Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department for 15 years, from

1982 to 1997.

Wakefield went on to explain all of the moving parts that help to

make a fire department, including equipment, training, volunteers and

families.

"The volunteers are what make this whole thing work," said Wakefield.

"If the volunteers didn't have their family's support then they

wouldn't be able to do this."

Six people from the two departments received awards for their efforts.

Rookie of the year awards went to Travis Shellabarger, who has

responded to 440 calls, and Crystal Young, who has responded to 414

calls.

Tim Thompson was recognized as firefighter of the year for Crescent

Fire Protection District. He responded to a total of 313 calls.

Dan Borgess, who responded to 524 calls, was recognized as Crescent City Volunteer Fire Department firefighter of the year.

Willie Morrison responded to the most calls with 844. He was honored as an officer of the year.

"Willie is the go-to guy," said Wakefield. "He will do anything for

anybody. His heart is always in the right place and we are lucky to have

him."

Richard Weir received a standing ovation when he was given his officer of the year award.

"This one really means a lot to me because Richard and I grew up

together," said Wakefield. "He's the kind of guy we can count on every

day. I can't think of a more deserving individual than Richard."

Weir also received recognition for 35 years of service, as did Drew Davis.

Ray Rook was given kudos for 20 years of service, Jerry Cardenas for 10 years and Tim Thompson for five years.

CFPD secretary Roselyn Coltra was recognized for her services. Debra

Wakefield and son Mark Wakefield both received pins for their EMT

certification.

CFPD public information officer and firefighter Bill Steven ended the

award ceremony by presenting Chief Wakefield and his wife, Debra, with a

gift certificate package for Jerry's Rogue River Jet Boat Tours.

Steven lauded Wakefield for his round-the-clock work ethic and dedication to the departments.

"The problem is getting Steve to do it," Steven said of the boat trip that will take the chief briefly out of his jurisdiction.

The celebrations continued with the help of tunes from cover band Disturbing the Peace.

Reach Anthony Skeens at askeens@triplicate.com .

14030725
The Del Norte Triplicate
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