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City of Russell Fire Department Hosts Annual Awards Banquet

Rick Webb 2019 Firefighter of the YearThe City of Russell Fire Department hosted its annual awards banquet on Saturday at Fossil Creek Hotel and Suites in Russell.

The Firefighter of the Year Award was presented to Lieutenant Rick Webb (pictured at left with Fire Chief Dylan Riedel and Assistant Fire Chief Steve Knopp).

The Earl Hemphill Award for Outstanding Leadership was given to Captain Jordan Harrison.

Jordan Harrison 2019 Officer of the Year

Jesse Schreiner was named Rookie of the Year.

Jesse Schreiner 2019 Rookie of the Year

A new award was presented at the banquet - the Above and Beyond Award.

From Chief Riedel:

"Firefighters typically are always willing to go above and beyond their job description. Sometimes, this trait comes out in community members who are willing to risk their well-being to go above and beyond the role of being a normal citizen. This award will be presented to those individuals who go out of their way to help not only the fire department but also their fellow neighbors. This year, we have two recipients for this award. First is an individual who is called at the same time as the Fire Department. This individual has done everything from helping feed hose into a burning structure to hoisting a charged hose line in his bucket to help extinguish an apartment fire. Risking his life to help keep others safe. The first recipient of the City of Russell Fire Department Above and Beyond Award goes to Don Johnson." He leads the City of Russell Electric Department.

"Our second recipient of the City of Russell Fire Department Above and Beyond Award went to great lengths to help a neighbor in need. During a cold winter night in February, when most people would stay inside their warm house and observe the action going on next door, this family sprang into action and helped contain a fire that if not kept in check, could have been catastrophic to the home owners. If not for the quick actions of their daughter and alerting the proper people, this fire could have been much worse. A bucket brigade was an early tactic used by firefighters to move water from one location to another. This family formed their own water transport service and moved water from inside their house to a neighbor's garage fire next door. These individuals used anything they could get their hands on, including a trash can, to help contain the blaze till we arrived. The second recipient of the City of Russell Fire Department Above and Beyond Award goes to Brad, Cheryl and Chantal Prester."

(Pictured: Chief Riedel, Brad and Cheryl Prester, Johnson and Assistant Chief Knopp.)

2019 FD Above and Beyond Award

Also Saturday, retired Captain Steve Wells was presented with a large plaque in honor of his 26 years of service with the Fire Department.

Retired Captain Steve Wells

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Knopp was presented a similar plaque in recognition of his 35 years of service.

Steve Knopp 35 Years of Service

Also recognized for years of service were Jeff Florian for 15 years, Jordan Harrison for 10 years, Mike Schneider for 10 years, Amber Whitmer for 10 years (not pictured) and Darlene Stierlen for 10 years.

2019 FD Years of Service Awards

Additional awards and presentations:

Firefighter Participation: Steve Knopp, Jeff Florian, Jordan Harrison, Jacob Boxberger and Tyler Reynolds

National EMS Certification: Jesse Schreiner

Firefighter I Certificates for completion of Russell City Fire Department's 2018 Class: Jacob Boxberger, Jesse Schreiner, Tyler Reynolds, Jacob Sellens and Blake Boxberger

National Certification for Firefighter I: Tyler Reynolds and Jacob Boxberger

Hazmat Awareness National Certification: Jacob Boxberger, Tyler Reynolds and Blake Boxberger

Hazmat Operations National Certification: Jacob Boxberger and Tyler Reynolds

Presentation of Hazmat Awareness and Operations Completion Certificates: Jacob Boxberger, Jesse Schreiner, Tyler Reynolds, Jacob Sellens and Blake Boxberger

Presentation of Badges: Jacob Boxberger, Jesse Schreiner, Tyler Reynolds, Jacob Sellens, Blake Boxberger, Kelly Depiesse, Lieutenant Rick Webb and Captain Jordan Harrison

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