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Parker chosen firefighter of the year

Christina Parker was voted the 2005 Firefighter of the Year.  Lt. Parker is a 10-year veteran from the Langley station.  - Gayle Saran
Christina Parker was voted the 2005 Firefighter of the Year. Lt. Parker is a 10-year veteran from the Langley station.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

A 10-year veteran for South Whidbey’s Fire District 3 was selected by her peers as the 2005 Firefighter of the Year at an awards banquet recently.

Langley’s Christina Parker, a lieutenant at the Langley fire station, said she became a firefighter by accident.

“I wanted to become an emergency medical technician, so I dropped by the Langley station one day to learn about what training was available,” she said.

The station captain told her that all EMTs also had to be certified as firefighters.

“I didn’t think I could be a firefighter. It wasn’t me,” she said.

But the station captain did some heavy recruiting — Parker joined the station and was sent to the state’s fire academy for certification as a firefighter.

“I’ve been here every since,” Parker said.

She joined the Langley station before it was part of Fire District 3. The award is based on dedication and service to the district.

Paul Busch, assistant chief and training officer for Fire District 3, said dedication is one of Parker’s strong suits.

Parker, 36, has lived here since 1993. She and her husband, Rich, have two children.

Each year, the district honors its firefighters, emergency medical and rescue personnel.

In addition to those who were named as firefighters of the year in the individual fire stations, Alison Neschke was named the 2005 Medical Responder of the Year, and Don Mason received the Most Inspirational Award.

Melissa Simmons received the Star of Life, given to the EMT who responds to the most calls for medic services; Amber Imburgia was the Recruit of the Year; the Leather Glove Award went to Brandon Callahan; High Angle Rescuer of the Year was Don Mason; Connie Shields received the officer’s choice award — The Carl Simmons Award — and the recipient is elected by votes from all of the officers in the district.

Brandon Callahan went home with the Marine Rescue Award.

Top firefighters from each station were James Wrightson, Freeland; Roy Simmons, Clinton; two volunteers from the Maxwelton station, Stephen Lewis and Eric Unke; Teresa Welch from the Saratoga station; Brian Vick of Bayview and Parker.

Volunteer Elaine Elliot got the 2005 Support Services award for helping to organize all of the district’s social events.

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