South Salisbury fire department members recognized

  • Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013 12:39 a.m.

On Feb. 16, South Salisbury Fire Department held its Firemen’s Banquet & Awards Ceremony at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Salisbury.  

Assistant Fire Chief Jason Burnett delivered a presentation highlighting the accomplishments of the department during the 2012 calendar year.


Annually, the department recognizes members who have gone above and beyond their requirements to provide service for the citizens they protect.

Chief Cory Orbison presented firefighter Justin Belk the Harold V. Glover Firefighter of the Year award. Belk began his service as a volunteer firefighter in 2005. He has recently put forth a great deal of his personal time in pursuing his firefighter Level I and II certifications. Orbison said his commitment to this organization is greatly appreciated and his dedicated hard work will only enhance this department in the future.

Deputy Fire Chief Bobby “Skoshie” Burleyson received the Walter K. Shoaf Medical Responder of the Year award. Burleyson has dedicated more than 16 years of service to this organization and continues to carry this department into the future, Orbison said. He retired as an engineer with Salisbury Fire Department in 2010 with 25 years of service. Burleyson not only oversees fire department operations but also commits a significant amount of time to ensuring the department is providing the best level of medical care to patients within the fire district.

Firefighter J.D. Bush earned the G. Alexander Lyerly Rookie of the Year award. Bush began his service as a volunteer firefighter in 2011 and is a volunteer firefighter with Ellis Fire Department. Bush has obtained numerous firefighter level certifications throughout his career. “His service is highly valued with this department and we look forward to his future as he continues to grow in this organization,” Orbison said.

Captain Jonathan McCaskill received the Daniel W. Peters Officer of the Year award. McCaskill began his service as a volunteer firefighter in 2008. A career firefighter with Salisbury Fire Department, McCaskill “continues to enhance our ability to provide the highest level of service by relying on his many years of experience and training in the areas of firefighting, medical response and other specialty disciplines.”

Safety Officer Terry Eller received the Kevin D. Williams Life Above Self award. Eller began his service as a volunteer firefighter with the department in 1977 and for over 35 years has continued to “dedicate his time to making our department a welcoming environment. A mentor of many firefighters over the years, … Eller goes above and beyond the call of duty on a routine basis and will forever have a place within the history of our organization.”

Orbison presented the following pin awards for dedication of service to the department. Eller, 35 years; medical responder Myra Eller, 35 years; Captain Charles Guessford, 15 years; firefighter Burleyson, 10 years; firefighter Tonya Guessford, five years and Firefighter Brian Sebastian, five years. Orbison said, “Each of these members serve vital roles within this organization and their commitment of time is greatly appreciated.”

South Salisbury Fire Department is looking for men and women who wish to serve as volunteers with all types of backgrounds, skills and abilities. No prior experience is needed. The department is looking for firefighters, medical responders, driver and truck operators, support personnel and anyone wishing to make a significant difference in their community. The station is at 3207 Old Concord Road. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer and live near the community; please stop by the fire station or call 704-637-3873 for more information.

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