Ridgeway Fire Company installs officers, honors dedicated members
RIDGEWAY – Ridgeway Volunteer Fire Company installed new officers and recognized dedicated members at its annual banquet Saturday night.
David Green of East Shelby was master of ceremonies, and began the evening by introducing distinguished guests, which included local law enforcement, politicians and representatives from other fire companies.
First Assistant Chief Kristin McAdoo presented training certificates to those firefighters in attendance, followed by presentation of awards for years of service. Service awards went to Dave Monagan, 50 years; Robin Gardner and Brian Withey, 40 years; Dell Stork, his son Ron Stork and Guy Scribner, 30 years (Dell also served 30 years in the Medina Fire Department); Francis Woodward, Tom Rushing and Kristin McAdoo, 25 years; and Matt Natale, 10 years.
Chantelle Blackburn chose April Fearby as recipient of the President’s Award.
“She’s here all the time and does things we didn’t even know needed to be done,” Blackburn said. “She deserves this award more than anyone.”
Fearby presented tokens of appreciation to several members who assisted her throughout the year.
Joshua Klotzbach, who was chosen Firefighter of the Year, was not able to attend because he was serving in the military with the National Guard.
Ladies Auxiliary president Tracey Hendrick announced Harriet Petrie as the Auxiliary Member of the Year.
“She is always here and really took over the reins,” Hendrick said.
Orleans I Dale Banker was the installing officer, who swore in the following officers:
Executive officers – Donald Marchner, president; April Fearby, vice president; Chantelle Blackburn, secretary; Samantha Raduns, treasurer; Zachary Blackburn, sergeant-at-arms; and trustees Paul Wengrzycki (three years), Kyle Morgan (two years) and Francis Woodward, one year.
Firematic officers – Patrick Kelly, chief; Jason Bessel, deputy chief; Kristin McAdoo, first assistant chief; Matthew Natale, second assistant chief; Tyler Luckman, firematic captain; Kyle Morgan, firematic lieutenant; Donald Marchner, safety officer; Michael Kelly, fire police captain; Chantelle Blackburn, EMS captain; and Zachary Blackburn, EMS lieutenant.
Officers of the Ladies Auxiliary were sworn in by Ridgeway town clerk Karen Kaiser. They are Tracey Hendrick, president; Melissa Hansler, vice president; Joelle Brown, secretary/treasurer; and Harriet Petrie, chaplain.
Charles Smith conducted a service paying tribute to 55-year member Royce Caleb. He and his wife Bev, who was a member of the Auxiliary, died during 2019.
Smith rang a bell three times, which signifies a firefighter has fallen.
Tracey Hendrick recognized Auxiliary members for their years of service. They were Effie McAdoo, 25 years; Donna Lockwood and Joleen Bessel, 10 years.
As has been customary each year since her husband died, Harriet Petrie has presented a gift in his memory to the fire company. Saturday night she gave firefighters Jason Bessel and Tyler Luckman a pair of New York hooks and a set of Haylo LED safety flares.
Don Palmer, a member of the fire company for 35 years, stood up to thank the department for allowing him to remain a member, in spite of the fact he cannot see.
“Even though I am totally blind, they accept me, and for that I say thank you,” Palmer said.
The Rev. Dan Thurber closed the evening with a prayer, saying how thankful he was, as a resident and pastor of the church just down the road, to have the Ridgeway Fire Company protecting them.