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Fire and Rescue Association holds awards banquet

Captain Baxter “Buddy” Miller III of the Salisbury Fire Department was named the Charles Culp Firefighter of the Year at the Rowan County Fire & Rescue Association’s annual awards banquet on June 14.
The award was presented by Chief Rusty Alexander of the Locke Fire Department. Matt Misenheimer of the Bostian Heights Fire Department was runner-up.
Judges for the annual firefighter awards were Vernon Ward of the N.C. Office of State Fire Marshal, Deputy Chief Curtis Teague of Concord Fire and Life Safety and Detective Sam Henline of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Department.
The Chief Officer of the Year Award went to Assistant Chief David Linker of the Locke Fire Department. Runner-up was Chief Kenny Payne of the Cleveland Fire Department, who recently retired from the Salisbury Fire Department.
The awards were presented by Chief John Thomason of the Franklin Fire Department.
Kevin Johnson of the Locke Fire Department received the Rookie of the Year Award, and Tyler Hamilton of the Franklin Fire Department was runner-up. The awards were presented by Chief Mike Zimmerman of the Bostian Heights Fire Department.
The Rescuer of the Year Award went to James Hall of the Locke Fire Department. Mark Kyles of the Franklin Fire Department was runner-up.
The awards were presented by Deputy Chief Chad Earnhardt of the Gold Hill Fire Department.
Linda Kennedy of the Woodleaf Fire Department was presented the Medical Responder of the Year Award by Chief Bob Parnell of the Salisbury City Fire Department. Gary Lang of the Franklin Fire Department was runner-up.
Also at the awards banquet, Fire Marshal Tom Murphy and Fire Inspector Deborah Horne awarded South Salisbury Fire personnel Deputy Chief Darrell Nichols, Firefighter Stephen Carter and Trooper David Deal of the N.C. Highway Patrol the Rowan County Emergency Services/Fire Division Award for saving the life of a homeowner who collapsed in cardiac arrest at the scene of a house fire on Peach Orchard Road.
Additionally, the entire Rowan County Telecommunications Department was honored with the annual 911/Telecommunicator of the Year Award for its handling of the Salisbury Millwork Fire and the coordination assistance provided in the weeks afterward.
Annual pageant awards were also presented at the banquet. Judges were Steve Simpson, executive director of the Hanford-Dole Chapter of the American Red Cross, and chapter staff members Deborah Lineberger, Serenity Moose and Marci Moose.
Awards presented in the annual pageants were:
– Little Fire Chief (contestants ages 6-10), Benjamin Wright of the East Gold Hill Fire Department;
– Little Miss Flame (contestants ages 6-10), Faith Moore of the Woodleaf Fire Department;
– Miss Flame (contestants ages 14-18), Rachel Russell of the West Rowan Fire Department.
Pageant winners rode in the Faith 4th of July parade on Friday and will also appear in this year’s Holiday Caravan Christmas parade in Spencer and Salisbury.
Also at the awards banquet, the Rowan County Honor Guard recognized the following Fire and Rescue personnel who passed away in the last year: Joseph Albright of the Spencer Fire Department; Max Deal of the Mt. Mitchell Fire Department;
Tim Hand of the Rowan County Rescue Squad and the West Liberty Fire Department; Victor Isler of the Salisbury Fire Department; Bill Misenheimer of the West Liberty Fire Department; Justin Monroe of the Salisbury, Millers Ferry and Spencer fire departments; and Lewis Stone of the Salisbury Fire Department.
The awards banquet was held in the Millbridge Ruritan Building with Jennifer Moxley of News 14 Carolina serving as hostess for the evening.
Catering was provided by Creative Touches Catering in Rockwell. Photos were taken by David Watson Photography.

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