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Fire District volunteers honored at banquet
Island County Fire District 3 honored its team of volunteers and their families at its annual awards dinner on Saturday, March 12 at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club.
The Carl Simmons Award went to Forrest Hughes. His daughter, Leah Hughes, was chosen Fire Fighter of the Year.
Gary Gabelein was recognized for 40 years of outstanding service as a volunteer firefighter, Commissioner Kenon Simmons was honored for 30 years and Bill Stolcis and Jim Towers were honored for 25 years.
Steve Lewis was awarded the Paramedic’s Choice Award and EMT of the Year.
Most Inspirational EMS and the Star of Life awards both went to Pat McMahon.
Eric Unke was chosen Marine Rescue Responder of the Year and Outstanding Technical Rescue Team Member.
The award for Public Education went to Dylan Jefferies, and Jessica Larson was presented the award for Support Services.
Others recognized for years of service were Christina Parker and Tom Peterson (15 years); Charlie Bieber, Robin Flem and Susan Marchese (10 years); and Jennifer Morley, Tony Price and Paul Shimada (five years).
Station Fire Fighters of the Year were Eldon Baker, Station 31; Paul Shimada, Station 32; Bryce Bebee, Station 33; Adam Conley, Station 34; and Terry Welch, Station 35.
Special recognition and a standing ovation were given to Paula Schuler, who is retiring next month after 19 years as an administrative assistant for the department.
Fire Chief Rusty Palmer presented the awards.