By Lewis Spearman
BAYTOWN– The Highlands Fire Department held their annual Recognition and Awards Banquet last Saturday evening, at the Baytown Youth Fair & Rodeo pavilion.
Firefighter of the Year award was presented to Christofer Contreras. This award is given in memory of Cecil Kelly, who volunteered with the Highlands VFD for over 42 years before retiring in 1996. The recipient chosen by vote of the membership is a firefighter who performed above and beyond the call of duty.
Chief Little reviewed the history of the department for 2020 against 2019. There were a total this year of 2,670 against 2,838 service calls. Of these 1976 were EMS calls compared with 1991 the previous year. Life Flight was called 24 against 27 times. Fire responses declined to 694 from 847. Motor vehicle accidents were down from 201 to 161.
The department can boast of keeping their response times low, strong staffing, receiving grants for insurance, purchase of a 16 foot inflatable power boat for high water rescues, quality training, using other facilities and combined training with nearby departments.