East Shelby recognizes dedicated firefighters, including 50-year member

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 4 March 2021 at 1:16 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Charlie Ralph, right, and his son Todd hold a wooden clock presented to him by Mike Fuller, left, in honor of Charlie’s 50 years of membership in the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company.

EAST SHELBY – The East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company took the opportunity to honor dedicated members during their March meeting Tuesday night.

The honors would have been awarded during the fire company’s annual banquet the first Saturday in March, however, the pandemic prevented that, so they decided to award the honors at their meeting.

“These people were certainly deserving to be recognized,” said David Green, a 60-year member of the fire company.

Officers of the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company were sworn in by Orleans Emergency Management Coordinator Dale Banker during the monthly fire department meeting Tuesday night.

Dale Banker, director of Orleans County Emergency Management, installed the following line officers for 2021:

Chief – Deb Taylor; 1st asst. chief – Devin Taylor; 2nd asst. chief – Andy Beach; 3rd asst. chief – Dennis MacDonald; captain – Jeff Taylor; lieutenant – Sharon Grimes; fire police captain – Laura Fields; and safe/training officer – Todd Ralph.

Administrative officers installed were:

President – Mike Fuller; vice president – Joe Newton; secretary – Karen Bracey; treasurer – Allen Turner; trustees – Gordon Reigle, Ken Printup, Norm Beherend and Alan Lonnen; and steward – Dave Green.

Certificates for years of membership were presented to Josh Green, five years; Sharon Grimes and Devin Taylor, 10 years; Matt Grimes and Joe Newton, 15 years;  Laura Fields and Amy Herman, 20 years; Ken McPherson and Allen Turner, 35 years; Mike Zelazny, 45 years; Charles Ralph, 50 years; and David Green, 60 years.

Ralph also received a large wooden American flag with a clock for his years of service to the fire company.

Mike Fuller presented the President’s Award to Deb Taylor, the first woman chief of East Shelby Volunteer Fire Department, at their March meeting Tuesday night.

Mike Fuller presented his President’s Award to Debbie Taylor, who last year became the fire company’s first woman chief.

“She spent a lot of time here during the Covid pandemic, making sure everything was safe,” Fuller said. “Her leadership is what made it all happen.”

An EMS award was presented for only the second year by Fuller, who chose Dennis MacDonald for the honor.

“He has been heavily involved all year, and goes to all the calls,” Fuller said.

Steve Wolter, left, received the Chief’s Award from Andy Beach Tuesday night at the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company’s March meeting.

Andy Beach said the Firefighter of the Year was somebody behind the scenes at any fire or whatever else is going on, shutting down the roads and making it safe.

“He puts in a lot of time as a fire police,” Beach said, naming Steve Wolter as recipient of the award.

Beach also presented his Chief’s Award, saying he thought about it long and hard.

“This year the award goes to the entire East Shelby Fire Company, who have been great during my last four years,” Beach said.

The award was accepted by Mike Fuller.

The final award was presented by Deb Taylor to Andy Beach, who she said has contributed to the betterment of the fire company.

Dennis MacDonald, left, received the EMS Award from East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company’s president Mike Fuller at their March meeting.