Carlton Fire Company presents top awards for dedicated members

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 8 December 2020 at 1:40 pm

Provided photos: Justin Niederhofer (right), the outgoing Carlton fire chief, presents the President’s Award to his mother Valerie Niederhofer on Monday evening. Ed Cooper, president of the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company, is at left.

CARLTON – The fire company presented awards on Monday from 2019. Those recognitions would have been presented at an early spring banquet but that was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Fire company leaders were hopeful the awards would eventually be presented in a gathering with firefighters recognized in front of their peers. But the recent spike in cases and hospitalizations in the county makes an indoor banquet unlikely in the near future.

Jacob Marks, left, is presented with the Chief’s Award from Justin Niederhofer, the Carlton fire chief.

Fire Chief Justin Niederhofer and President Ed Cooper decided to give out two special awards from 2019 on Monday evening.

Cooper gave the president’s award to Val Niederhofer. She is the mother of current fire chief Justin Niederhofer. Justin’s brother Andrew also has been fire chief, and their father, James “Dutch” Niederhofer, served in the role in the early 1990s.

Val Niederhofer has been a key supporter of the fire company for decades.

“She is the most selfless person you could ever meet and is so dedicated to this community and to the firefighters/EMT’s of our town,” Justin Niederhofer said. “There are so many that don’t or won’t find time to take classes, yet she will take classes for stuff she most likely will never use just to fill a seat so that she can make sure the other responders in our department are afforded the opportunity to get much needed training.”

Niederhofer presented the Chief’s Award to Jacob Marks, who committed himself to many training classes to be an asset to the community as a firefighter and EMT.

“Thank you Jake Marks for all that you did to make my first year as chief easier, being there when I needed you, the line needed you, our community and the neighboring communities needed you,” Niederhofer posted on Facebook today. “Most don’t complete their fire or EMT classes in the first year and Jake did both! So proud of the progress you have made and the challenges you have overcome and I am so looking forward to all the great things you will do in the future. Our town is truly a safer place because of you!”

Niederhofer earlier this year accepted a job with the county as deputy emergency management coordinator. He didn’t seek another term as fire chief after two years.

“This year has brought about many challenges that we thought we would never see in our lifetime, but we faced them head on as the professionals we are and served our town proudly,” Niederhofer said in a message to the firefighters.

The officers for the Carlton Volunteer Fire Company in 2021 include:

  • Fire Chief Dale Niehaus
  • 1st Assistant Chief Andrew Niederhofer
  • 2nd Assistant Chief Seth Dumrese
  • Captain James Fisher
  • 1st Lieutenant Matt Hughson
  • 2nd Lieutenant Noah O’Kissick
  • President Ed Cooper
  • Vice President Richard Brakenbury
  • Secretary Val Niederhofer
  • Treasurer Tom Yockel
  • Board of Directors: James Heiler was chosen to serve a second three-year term.