Johnny Gibson and Robert Catrett of the Pike County Fire Fighters Association recently presented Jeremiah quot;Bullquot; Rodgers with the Ronald W. Dawkins Memorial Fire Fighter of the Year Award. Pho
Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 18, 2000
Rodgers named Ronald W. Dawkins Memorial Fire Fighter of the Year
By BETH LAKEY
It’s no "bull" that Jeremiah Rodgers is the fire fighter of the year.
Jeremiah "Bull" Rodgers was recently named the Ronald W. Dawkins Memorial Fire Fighter of the Year during Fire Fighter Appreciation Day held at the Pike Pioneer Museum.
Rodgers, who has spent the last five years with the Alabama Forestry Commission, is honored and humbled by the honor.
"It was a total surprise to me," Rodgers said. I had no idea I’d even been nominated and nomination is an honor in itself."
According to Johnny Gibson, more than one person thought enough of Rodgers to nominate him.
"We were proud to present him with the Fire Fighter of the Year Award," said Robert Catrett of the Pike County Fire Fighters Association. "He and the Forestry Commission go above and beyond the call of duty."
Rodgers appreciates the honor, but said he couldn’t do it without people like his supervisor, Wayne Craft, and other fire fighters.
"We save landowners timber," Rodgers said of what his job entails. That, and working with the volunteer fire departments in the county is what he calls a "rewarding" job.
"We appreciate the help they (other departments) give us," Rodgers said. "We have to work hand in hand to save timberland."
Rodgers said all those men and women deserve the recognition, too.
"There are a lot of fire fighters that deserve it," Rodgers said being named Fire Fighter of the Year.
There are also others who contribute to the community and one of those was also honored during Fire Fighter Appreciation Day.
Each year the president of the association selects an individual, who gives to the community and, this year, the person presented the J.B. Money Memorial Presidents Award was Deslie Galloway.
In addition to the recognition bestowed on Rodgers and Galloway, the day included plenty of fun and competition.
Gibson said Fire Fighter Appreciation Day is meant to show appreciation to those who work throughout the year to save homes, businesses and livelihoods from being destroyed by fire.
"We try to pay the fire fighters back for the job they’ve done," Gibson said.
And, they do just that with some friendly competition.
Fire fighters from Goshen proved to be the best in the Water on the Roof competition during which fire fighters dump buckets of water on a roof and the water falls off the roof into a barrel. The team that collects the most water in one minute, wins. The winners were: Goshen Team 1, first place; Springhill, second and Henderson, third.
In the hose lay competition, Springhill finished in 59.22 seconds, followed by Goshen Team 1 in a minute and 17 seconds; Goshen Team 2 in a minute and 30 seconds.
Springhill again won in the air pack relay in two minutes and 10 seconds; Hamilton, two minutes and 49 seconds and Goshen Team 2, three minutes and 26 seconds.
In the truck competition, Springhill came in first, followed by Goshen and Hamilton Crossroads.
Brian Davis and Robbie Davis of Hamilton Crossroads teamed up to win the egg toss. Tad Dent and Keith Hornsby, also of Hamilton Crossroads, came in second. Justin Register and Chris Welch of the Troy Fire Department came in third place.
Springhill was the overall winner, followed by Goshen Team 1 and Goshen Team 2.
But, not all the competition was for the fire fighters.
In the cake taste, Joyce Boutwell walked away with first place honors; Wayne Craft won second place and Mildred Olive, third. Boutwell also won the cake decorating competition (fire department theme) with Susan Register coming in second.
Teresa English’s pot of stew and Nina Hughes chili were winners.
Julia Davis finished second and Wayne Craft finished third in the stew competition, while Joyce Boutwell won second in the chili division, followed by Johnny Gibson.
The Pike County Fire Fighters Association is made up of nine volunteer fire departments ( Banks, Brundidge, Goshen, Hamilton Crossroads, Henderson, Meeksville, Pike County Fire and Rescue, Saco, Springhill), the Troy Fire Department and the Alabama Forestry Commission.