MASON — Joe Day has been named “Firefighter of the Year” for 2020 by the Mason Volunteer Fire Department, according to Fire Chief Howard Wood.
Day is a 10-year veteran of the organization, and was one of many recognized recently by the department.
Wood said awards are normally given at the end of each year during the Christmas dinner. Due to COVID-19, the dinner was forced to be cancelled.
In addition to Day, awards were also presented to Travis Nance, a 15-year member, named “Fire Officer of the Year;” Austin Ohlinger, a 10-year member, recipient of the “Chief’s Award;” and Stewart Zerkle, a 15-year member, who received a “Special Recognition.” Wood said the top firefighter is chosen annually by the fire department officers. The officer of the year and special recognition awards are voted on by the entire membership.
All members of the department were given custom-made leather helmet shields. Several were recognized and presented years-of-service pins. They were:
Five years – Dylan Perkins, Bill Saxon, and Bridgett Nance;
10 years – Austin Ohlinger and Joe Day;
15 years – Travis Nance, Jeff Zerkle, Stewart Zerkle, and Tiffany Wood;
20 years – Justin Nance and Eric Thacker; and,
30 years – Howard Wood.
Two members received promotions. Austin Ohlinger was promoted to first lieutenant, while Jeff Zerkle was promoted to second lieutenant.
Wood also announced five automated external defibrillators (AEDs) have been purchased with funds previously granted by the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation. Four of the AEDs were placed in department trucks, as required by state law, he said. The final one was mounted in the meeting room at the fire station.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at [email protected]