Norfolk firefighters honor their own at annual banquet
Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 2:47 pm

 NORFOLK -- The Norfolk Volunteer Fire Department recently recognized five members for their service at an annual banquet and awards dinner.

The Board of Fire Commissioners presented Reggie Monroe with a plaque commemorating his 31 years of service to the board. During his tenure he served as chairman for 23 years. He worked to keep taxes reasonable while also ensuring that fire protection was not compromised.

Monroe served as chairman during the construction of station number three 25 years ago. He also ensured the acquisition of several new pieces of equipment including an R-2, a heavy rescue unit that updated the department’s rescue capabilities.

Most recently he worked on the project to make a firefighter memorial located in the front of the station.

President Mike Seeber and James McGrath presented Tom McGrath, James’ father, with a ring commemorating his 25 years of service to the organization. Tom joined the department in 1987 and completed his “Essentials of Firemanship” in 1990. Tom served as vice president of the department for five years and as chairman of the Labor Day food stand for seven years.

The department also recognized co-rookies of the year Tracey Sessions and John Swinyer. The selection criteria include any special act or service beyond the call of duty; attendance at fires; participation in training, drills and fundraising; leadership and outstanding performance.

Sessions finished third in the department in fire call attendance, second in attendance at training events and was active in all fundraising activities. Since joining the department in 2009 she has completed the Fire Fighter 1; Pump Operator; Incident Command Systems 100, 200 and 700; Bus Rescue Extrication; Hazardous Materials 1st Responder and the Emergency Vehicle Operators courses.

Swinyer joined the department in June 2011 and has demonstrated a willingness to learn and a strong work ethic by cleaning the station and equipment. He is a former member of the Croghan Volunteer Fire Department. He finished first in the department in both fire call attendance and training events.

The Firefighter of the Year award for 2013 was presented to Russ Perry, a member with 29 years of service. Perry held the office of president for 11 years. He also served as fire commissioner for 6 years, held the rank of Captain, has been chairman of the Labor Day beverage stand for nearly 20 years and has been chairman of the chicken barbeque for 16 years.

Members of the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department served dinner and Robert Kerr served as the master of ceremonies.