Photo by Debra Laraway
WY’EAST HONOREES: First row: Mike Goe; second row: Jesus Grajeda,Greg Borton, Tiffany Peterson, Chris Spengler, Josee Claxton; third row: Robert Riggleman, Rick Walker, Tony Guisto, John Stehlik, Karl Smiley, Chief Deputy Oregon State Fire Marshall Mariana Ruiz-Temple.
As of Friday, March 2, 2018
I attended the Wy’East Fire Association annual awards banquet Feb. 10 at the Hood River Fairgrounds, so I would like to give some kudos to the amazing volunteers in the district.
The Pine Grove fire station and the Odell fire station joined together seven years ago, combining equipment, firefighting volunteers, and EMS volunteers along with supporters and families, and also our department bloopers.
Prior to this banquet, the volunteers served 400 people at their fifth annual crab and oyster feed. Thank you to everyone who set up, served, prepared the food, took tickets, bussed the tables and made everyone feel welcome. Thank you to all who attended the event; we are grateful for your support. Since it was a milder January this year, it was safer and easier to get to the event!
John Stehlick, president of Wy’East Fire District volunteers, welcomed everyone and made introductions of honorary members, district board members and guests. Our special guest was Chief Deputy Oregon State Fire Marshall Mariana Ruiz-Temple and her husband, Tony. Ruiz-Temple spoke briefly and thanked all for their service and commitments as volunteers to our district.
Wy’East Fire District Chief Greg Borton introduced current board members Eric Cederstam, Chuck Weseman, Rob Graves, Gary Willis and Dick Reed.
Invocation before dinner was given by the District Chaplin Rick Walker. Dinner was a buffet catered by Ahi’s Ohana catering and was delicious. Decorations were done by Rebecca Gehrman and she did a nice job of making the room festive.
After dinner, Borton gave the following awards for the 2017 service year:
Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Robert Riggleman. Riggleman is always there willing and able to help and do whatever he can on our fire calls.
Student Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Josee Claxton, and EMS Provider of the year was awarded to Chris Spengler.
Personal thanks to these volunteers for their commitment to our district. Our new student members are Claxton, Alex Dahlstrom, and Stuart Stoland. New district members are Tayler Lage, Christian Marquez, Manuel Mozqueda, and Armando Ruiz.
A new baby silver cup will be given to Peter and Sarah Cushman for their son, Felix Peter Cushman, born Sept. 13, 2017. Felix was 8 pounds, 12 ounces and 21.5 inches long. Congratulations!
Borton gave out 11 pins for five years of service. Each star pin on a firefighter’s uniform or dress shirt signifies five years of service. Five year pins were awarded to Peter Cushman, Jesus Grajeda, Tony Guisto, Chris Spengler; 10 year pins went to John Stehlik and Ricky Walker; 15 year pins went to Tiffany Peterson and Tom Sieverkropp.
A 25 year pin went to Karl Smiley and Borton himself got a 40 year pin.
The final pin and presentation was a 50 year pin and gift for Mike Goe. Goe ’s son Kenny gave a slide show and history of his father’s 50 years in the department. Mike’s wife, Geri, daughter, Kelly, and her husband and daughter were also at dinner to help honor him. Goe was given an engraved gift and Geri a beautiful pin for her dedication too.
The final business for the evening was the fun awards the Hot Line and Order of the Oar. Both blooper awards originated before the departments combined and have continued on. Ryan Dethman received the Hot Line award for Pine Grove Station and Rebecca Gehrman and Ashley Murillo shared the Odell Station Order of the Oar.