By GILBERT HOFFMAN
HIGHLANDS Deacon Tittel was back, not only as assistant fire chief, but also that emcee that gives away the gag gifts.
After a years leave, Deacons return almost overshadowed the more serious business of honoring the Firefighter of the Year, Teresa Campbell, and other top awards.
The event was the annual awards banquet and installation of a new board and officers, which was held by the HVFD last Saturday night at the Monument Inn.
Other major awards included the top ten reponders for the year, service awards for 1, 5, 10, 15, and 20 years of service, recognition of new officers and board, and elected and appointed positions, and truck lieutenants.
Special awards were: Citizen of the Year, Naomi Smith; Business of the Year, Kostka Wrecker Service; and Top Responder, Herman Bradford.
Junior Firefighter was recognized as Daniel Grabill, and Rookie of the year was also the top responder, Herman Bradford.
Chief Harvey Little reviewed the accomplishment and service history for the year. In particular he mentioned the radio equipment now located on our own antenna in Highlands, reduction of response time, improvements in billing, no major accidents or incidents in the year. Responses for the year were 1296 EMS and 308 fire calls, both figures up slightly from year 2002. Membership in the department now stands at 75, including 17 part time paid EMS crew members.
Assistant Chief Deacon Tittel reviewed the progress in training program, including a $2500 grant from the County, complete certification of all personnel at some state defined level, and new courses for driver/operators, and additional training in officer command structure, and water rescue.
EMS accomplishments were reviewed by EMS Chief Kacey Sammons.The included a $22,000 grant from TDH to upgrade the old ambulance chassis.
Teresa Campbell-Firefighter of the Year
By GILBERT HOFFMAN