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Hopman, Cassou and Nero honored at QFD installation ceremony

Mike Taborski

The late Bill Hopman was named Fireman of the Year for the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department.

The presentation was made Saturday night, Feb. 12, at the annual installation-of-officers banquet at the fire hall.

According to Chief Robbie Cassou, the Firefighter of the Year award is given to the firefighter whose performance throughout the year best exemplifies the spirit of the volunteer firefighter.

Cassou said Hopman, who passed away unexpectedly Jan. 11, was a dedicated volunteer. In addition to being one of the top 10 responders, he participated in nearly all of the fire and rescue squad training sessions. He also actively participated in most of their specialized training courses. Cassou said Hopman was also a respected instructor in six of the regional fire academies and was recently promoted to a captain on the department.

“His presence and his friendship will be sorely missed by me,” Cassou said.

Special recognition was also given to firefighter and mobile intensive care nurse Julie Cassou.

On behalf of the officers and members of the department, Deputy Chief David Windle presented Julie with a plaque honoring her for her unselfish and dedicated support throughout her 16 years in the department.

Commissioner Mike Nero   was presented a plaque by the department confirming its appreciation for the many accomplishments and contributions he has made during his 25 years with the department, 10 as a firefighter and the last 15 as a member of the three-person board of commissioners.

Nero tendered his resignation to the board effective March 1. He and his wife, Teri, are in the process of moving to Idaho.

Andy Ryback has been appointed by commissioners Chuck Leonhardt and Mike Taborski to complete Nero’s unexpired term.

In his final official act for the department, Nero installed the department’s 2011 officers: Secretary Julie Cassou; captains Clayton Beck, Dean Eaton, Jim Mann, Tim Pitlock, David Schmidt and Richard Stockton; assistant fire chiefs Ray Nichol and Frank Carey; Deputy Fire Chief Dave Windle; and Fire Chief Robbie Cassou.

Richard Stockton, now the ranking senior captain of the team, presented three milestones of service awards.    They went to C. Ray Nichol for his 30 years of service; recently appointed Assistant Chief Frank Carey, 10 years; and Andy Ryback, five years.

Jim Mann was again recognized as the Top Responder for the year. This recognition goes to the volunteer firefighter with the highest number of responses to fire and medical calls.

To illustrate Mann’s commitment and dedication, the next closest responder to his 249 calls this year went on 176 calls, and that was similar to last year when Mann went on nearly 100 more calls than the runner-up.

The Quincy Volunteer Fire Department — with a current roster of 36 volunteer firefighters and paid staff of three — responded to over 1,700 calls in 2010. Over the course of this last year the combined staff also compiled an impressive 2,900 hours of training.


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