Barre Fire Company presents annual awards at banquet

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 17 March 2019 at 9:54 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Karl Driesel, left, president of Barre Fire Company, is shown with Barry Flansburg after choosing him as Firefighter of the Year at the annual installation dinner Saturday night.

EAST SHELBY – Barre Fire Company held its annual installation banquet Saturday night at East Shelby Fire Hall, where new officers were installed and members were recognized for dedicated service.

Longtime member Barry Flansburg served as master of ceremonies and was honored for 40 years as a member of the fire company. He also received proclamations from Assemblyman Stephen Hawley and Senator Robert Ortt.

Flansburg introduced Fran Spohr and her daughter Nicole of Carlton, who volunteered their help during the December search for a missing man. Fran said she heard on the news about the search and called her son-in-law who is a Barre fireman.

“I asked if there was anything we could do,” Fran said.

The two ladies came to Barre and cooked for two days, feeding more than 200 people, Flansburg said.

Barre Fire Chief James Neal chose Kara Bentley for his “Chief’s Award,” which was presented at the annual installation banquet.

Officers for 2019 were installed by Dale Banker, director of Orleans County Emergency Management.

Department officers are president, Karl Driesel; vice president, Jesse Babcock; secretary, Terry Bentley; and treasurer, Edgar Morton.

Firematic officers are chief, James Neal; assistant chief, Ben Flansburg; 1st lieutenant, Bert Mathes; 2nd lieutenant, Brian Bentley; 3rd lieutenant, John Egloff; 4th lieutenant, Barry Flansburg; EMS captain, Andrew Faskel; fire police captain, Judy Kurtz; chief mechanic, Doug Bentley; and assistant mechanic, John Egloff.

Directors are Mark Farone, Patrick Lamka, Bill Basinait, Bert Mathes, Gary Mufford and Austin Zobel.

Fire commissioners are Mark Farone, Bill Basinait, Gary Mufford and Doug Bentley.

Andrew Faskel, right, chose Brianna Caldwell as EMS Person of the Year. She was recognized at Barre Fire Company’s installation banquet Saturday night. She also had the most training hours.

James Neal and Ben Flansburg handed out certificates for years of membership. Several have five years, while Cindy Newlands and Karl Driesel were recognized for 20 years; Jesse Babcock for 30 years; and Barry Flansburg, 40 years.

Brianna Caldwell had the most training hours, with 251. EMS captain Andrew Faskel chose her as the “EMS Person of the Year,” saying she is also the newest EMT in the department.

Neal chose Kara Bentley for his “Chief’s Award,” saying she is his secretary and volunteers to do anything which is needed.

Barry Flansburg received the honor of being named “Firefighter of the Year,” not only for his 40 years of dedicated service, but for discovering a fire at the fire hall last summer and preventing more severe damage.

Driesel presented his “President’s Award” to Bert Mathes.

A tribute was paid to Paul Gillette, a member who died during the past year.

Betty Hazel, president of the Ladies Auxiliary, presented a check for $500 to the fire company, which Driesel said will be used to purchase personal protective equipment.

Officers of the Barre Fire Company for 2019 were sworn in by Orleans Emergency Management director Dale Banker during the annual banquet Saturday night at East Shelby Fire Hall.

Ben Flansburg, left, assistant chief of Barre Fire Company, poses with Bert Mathes, who was recipient of the President’s Award.

Barre Fire Department president Karl Driesel, left, was presented with a certificate for 20 years of membership in the fire department by Ben Flansburg, assistant chief, and James Neal, chief.

Gary Mufford received recognition at Barre Fire Company’s installation banquet Saturday night for years of membership and helping to organize the banquet.

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