East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company honors outstanding members during annual banquet

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 6 March 2022 at 8:12 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Dennis MacDonald was named Firefighter of the Year by East Shelby Fire Chief Debbie Taylor at their installation banquet on Saturday night.

EAST SHELBY – Members and officers of the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company were happy to be back to normal after dealing with two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, they announced at their Installation of Officers Banquet Saturday night.

Firefighters and guests packed the fire company recreation hall for dinner, installation of officers, recognition of firefighters and entertainment.

Dave Green was master of ceremonies for the evening, which began with a welcome from Fire Company President Mike Fuller and Ladies Auxiliary President Bronwyn Green. It was noted the fire company is 69 years old this year.

Mike Fuller, right, presents the President’s Award to Devin Taylor at the East Shelby Firemen’s Banquet Saturday night.

The loss of three members during the past year was acknowledged. They are Herb Oberther Sr., Jim Newton and Laverne “Jiggs” Green, who was one of the 13 original members of the fire company.

After introduction of guests, new fire company officers were sworn in by Orleans County Legislator Bill Eick. They are president, Mike Fuller; vice president, Joe Newton; secretary, Karen Bracey; treasurer, Allen Turner; trustees, Ken Printup, Norm Behrend, Gordon Reigle and Alan Lonnen; steward, Dave Green; chief, Debbie Taylor; 1st assistant chief, Devin Taylor; 2nd assistant chief, Andy Beach; 3rd assistant chief, Dennis MacDonald; captain, Jeff Taylor; lieutenant, Mike Hinkley; fire police chief, Laura Fields; EMS officers, Sue Berend and Mike Fuller; and safety/training officer, Todd Ralph.

Officers of the East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company are sworn in by Orleans County Legislator Bill Eick Saturday night at East Shelby Firemen’s Recreation Hall.

Officers of the Ladies Auxiliary sworn in by Orleans County Clerk Nadine Hanlon are president, Bronwyn Green; vice president, Debbie Green; secretary, Sawyer Green; treasurer, Sharlene Pratt; co-chaplains, Rose Allen and Carol Lonnen; and trustees, Cassidy Oliver (three years); Shirley Printup (two years); and Sue Green (one year). Jessie Green is Sunshine chair and Wanda Dingman is historian.

Mike Fuller chose Devin Taylor as recipient of his President’s Award. Fuller said Taylor was a person who helps him day to day whenever he needs help.

As a captain of the EMS program, Fuller also shared what a challenge it has been during the Covid pandemic to do the required training while still meeting Department of Health protocol. He said EMS personnel are required to be re-certified every three years. He said this was a challenge because of the number of hours required. When he started in 1986, it took about 80 hours to become and EMT, and now the requirement is 180. Fuller acknowledged the work by instructors Norm and Sue Behrend.

Debbie Taylor, Orleans’s County’s first woman to serve as fire chief, hugs her husband Jeff after presenting him with the Chief’s Award at the East Shelby Firehall Saturday night.

Debbie Taylor and Fuller handed out certificates for years of service to Gretchen Carr, Nathan London and Shawn Perkins, five years; Brian Zinkievich, 10 years; Katie Crooks, 20 years; Walter Dingman, 30 years; Scott Green and Joe Newton, 35 years; and Jeff Green, 40 years.

Debbie Taylor said she didn’t have to do much thinking when making her choice for the Chief’s Award.

“This person supported me in my run for chief and is always there for me, whether it’s cleaning up a truck or doing an errand at home,” she said.

Her award went to her husband Jeff. Debbie also noted he has bragging rights that he is the only man in the county whose wife is a fire chief.

Awards continued with Debbie naming Dennis MacDonald as Firefighter of the Year.

“You can always depend on him and he is dedicated to the fire company,” she said. “He always shows up for a work detail or to help a crew.”

Dave Green hugs Sue Green after presenting her with the Steward’s Award.

The Steward’s Award was presented by Dave Green to Sue Green. Sue is always willing to help the fire company and is known for her baked goods.

Carol Lonnen, center, receives a gift from East Shelby Ladies Auxiliary vice president Debbie Green, left, and president Bronwyn Green for her four years of service as Auxiliary treasurer.

As president of the Ladies Auxiliary, Bronwyn Green acknowledged Carol Lonnen as the Auxiliary’s only outgoing officer. Lonnen has been treasurer for four years, and was very supportive of Bronwyn when she became president.

In return, Lonnen commended Bronwyn for her ingenuity in coming up with creative ways to raise money for the Auxiliary when the pandemic shut down all fundraisers. Brownyn came up with the idea for an online basket raffle, which turned out to be very successful and helped raise cash which the Auxiliary donates every year to the fire company. This year

Bronwyn presented a check for $5,000 to Fuller and Debbie Taylor.

From left, East Shelby Volunteer Fire Company president Mike Fuller and chief Debbie Taylor are presented with a check for $5,000 from Auxiliary president Bronwyn Green at their banquet Saturday night.

The East Shelby Firemen’s Auxiliary officers greet the audience after being sworn in by Orleans County Clerk Nadine Hanlon. From left are Carol Lonnen, chaplain; Bronwyn Green, president; Debbie Green, vice president; Sawyer Green, secretary; Sharlene Pratt, treasurer; Rose Allen, chaplain; and Sue Green and Cassidy Oliver, trustees.

Auxiliary members were also presented with service awards for years of service, as follows:

Mary Lonnen, five years; Sharlene Pratt, 10 years; Mindy Kenward and Carol Lonnen, 15 years; Meaghan Boice-Green, 20 years; Becky Fruehauf, 20 years; Shirley Printup, 25 years; and Sue Squires, 30 years.

Bronwyn chose Shirley Printup as recipient of her President’s Award.

“You are always able to count on her,” Bronwyn said. “She has been a hard worker for the fire company for 25 years. She started the craft fair the year she joined and has chaired the show and gun raffle. She has given up timeless knowledge, respect and friendship.”

The evening concluded with a performance by juggler and entertainer Nels Ross.