By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Nearly 50 Imperial Volunteer Fire Department (IVFD) members, their spouses and special guests attended Saturday night’s annual banquet and awards program.
Following a welcome from Fire Chief Nick Schultz and a catered dinner at St. Patrick Parish Hall, statistics from the year 2012 were reviewed and awards presented.
The IVFD responded to 84 calls during 2012. The majority were in response to grass fires largely due to a very dry year of just 12.5 inches of moisture and high summer temperatures. The total number of calls also includes the jaws unit and dive team responses.
In response to those calls, firefighters put in a total of 3,349.5 man hours, or the equivalent of 140 days.
Adding in individual firefighters’ training time, those man hours increase to 4,192.
Kelsey Weiss received one of the top awards given by the IVFD when he was presented the Fireman of the Year trophy. His fellow firefighters voted for the recipient selecting who they deem as the department’s outstanding member.
Earning the Francis Nichols Memorial Training Award were Aaron Green and Nick Schultz. They compiled the most training hours in 2012 with 92.75 hours each.
Duane Todd was recipient of the Francis Nichols Memorial Attendance Award. He had the highest response to calls and attendance at trainings among the department.
Three other special awards were re-established this year by the IVFD. Also voted on by the memberships, Doug Mitchell was named officer of the year, Kelsey Weiss earned lineman of the year and Rob Browning was chosen driver of the year.
New recognition was given this year to those firefighters as the “Top 10 Responders,” those who responded to the most fire calls. There were actually 11 awarded due to a tie.
Those recipients included Brad Dillan, Daryl Sharp, Skip Kelley, Brad Wheeler, Nick Schultz, Kelsey Weiss, Doug Mitchell, Duane Todd, Aaron Green, Dan Robinson and Rob Browning. Each received a Top 10 Responder t-shirt.
Those recognized for years of service were Nick Schultz, 30 years; Daryl Sharp, 20 years; Greg Koellner and Sergio Almanza, 15 years; and John Schilke and Skip Kelley, five year.
Jody Bopp was presented the single Blooper Award for 2012.
Special guests for the evening included members of the city council and rural fire board, along with retired IVFD firefighters.
Imperial Mayor Dwight Coleman, who was unable to attend due to family commitments, sent of letter of thanks that was read at the program.