Nearly 12 and a half centuries – 1,245 years to be exact – that is the combined total years of service for the 33 fire and rescue volunteers representing six agencies that were recognized on Monday, Oct. 22, at the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors Meeting.
Don Shaw of Christiansburg Fire Department was recognized for 50 years of service; followed by Darrell Wells of the Elliston Fire Department at 45 years; and Louisa Gay of Blacksburg Rescue Squad and Greg Polan of Blacksburg Fire Department both at 40 years of service. In addition, three were recognized for 39 years of service, seven for 38 years of service, 10 for 37 years of service, two for 36 years of service and six for 35 years of service, bringing the total number of men and women being recognized to 33.
"These men and women volunteer for our community and have done so faithfully for several decades now by responding to thousands upon thousands of calls," said Montgomery County Board of Supervisor Chair, Chris Tuck. "It's an honor to recognize them and thank them for their service and heroism."
Agencies represented include Blacksburg Fire Department, Blacksburg Rescue Squad, Christiansburg Fire Department, Christiansburg Rescue Squad, Elliston Fire Department, Riner Fire Department, Riner Rescue Squad, and Shawsville Rescue Squad.
"Most of us don't think about the sacrifice our fire and rescue volunteers make for our community," said Montgomery County Board of Supervisor Vice Chair, April DeMotts. "This community would not be nearly as great of a place to live and to work without the dedication, sacrifice, and strong sense of community epitomized by these men and women."
In 2017, our fire and rescue volunteers respond to nearly 13,000 calls.
"You never know when you’re going to get the call that someone is in need and you have to drop everything and respond to that need," said Neal Turner, Montgomery County Emergency Services Coordinator. Turner has been a volunteer with the Christiansburg Rescue Squad and the Riner Rescue Squad for 40 years.
"The men and women who volunteer their own time for this strenuous and challenging job do so with so much dignity and respect. It truly is an honor not only to serve with them, but also to honor them for their selflessness and dedication to the communities in which they live and serve."