Carey honored as Firefighter of the Year
|Quincy Fire District Commissioner Mike Taborski, left, presents Assistant Fire Chief Frank Carey with the 2012 Firefighter of the Year award at the annual installation of officers banquet. Photo by Sue Brown|
Members of the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department overwhelmingly voted to honor Assistant Fire Chief Frank Carey as the organization’s 2012 Firefighter of the Year.
In making the presentation at the department’s annual awards and installation of officers banquet Feb. 18, Fire Commissioner Mike Taborski said since joining the department in 2000, Carey has distinguished himself as a role model and leader. He has risen through the ranks from firefighter to captain and now assistant fire chief.
In reviewing his resume, accomplishments and dedication to the department, Taborski said it easily understood why his peers nominated him for this prestigious honor.
Carey is a certified first responder and is certified to the hazardous materials operations level. Last year he “took two weeks of his own vacation time” to attend and graduate from a renowned firefighter’s truck academy in Southern California.
He is in the process of completing a 144-hour state instructor certification course to help bring state certified training to Plumas County.
Quincy Volunteer Fire Department’s 2011 numbers at a glance
Considering the number of meetings and the hours spent on training, it easy to see why Quincy, like the other communities in Plumas County, is so fortunate to have such a dedicated and well-trained group of individuals serving as volunteer firefighters and emergency first responders.
Volunteer firefighters: 40
Paid staff: 3
Parcels protected: 2,646
Response area: 560 square miles
Total emergency calls: 460
Medical aid calls: 346
Auto accidents: 40
Other rescues: 6
Public assistance: 5
Total response volunteer hours: 1,189
Total training hours: 3,310
Membership drills: 1,306
Rescue drills: 424
Officers meetings: 230
Fire academy: 264
Miscellaneous specific training/drills: 1,838
Carey — along with Deputy Chief David Windle and Capt. David Schmid — led the volunteers in training meetings last year with their attendance at 48 meetings. He was second on another list amassing more than 303 volunteer hours and responded on 249 emergency calls last year, placing him in third place on that list. He also leads a very active and fulfilling life outside the department.
Carey and his wife, Amy, own and operate the family business, Carey Candy Co., while raising four adopted children.
This year’s Firefighter of the Year also works full-time at Pioneer Elementary School and yet finds the time to operate a trenching business in the evenings and on weekends.
In addition to his work and business responsibilities along with the time he devotes to the department, Carey enjoys mentoring local youth by coaching Little League, track and football, and other outreach programs.
Former Assistant Chief Ray Nichol, who this year has become a senior active member of the department, was also recognized at the banquet for the 32 years he spent as a volunteer for the fire department.
In presenting Nichol with a plaque, Fire Chief Robbie Cassou reviewed his lifetime of public service, starting with military time in Vietnam that was followed by a distinguished career with the Forest Service.
He also recapped in great detail the training, accomplishments and myriad contributions Nichol made to the fire department during those three-plus decades.
Cassou then thanked Nichol’s wife, Sally, for supporting her husband, commenting that “no one member does this alone” as he presented her with a dozen roses.
Capt. Richard Stockton introduced nine new members joining the fire department this past year: Dan Brandes, Andrew Eaton, John Holmes, John Gay, Brandon Pitlock, Glen White, Kris Gunn, Colin John and Jeb Heiman.
He also introduced the current three auxiliary members: Robert Hopman, Lance LaBerge and Daniel Patterson.
In addition to giving himself a 15-year pin, Stockton recognized several of the volunteers for their milestones of service to the department beginning with Kenny Thomas, who received a special gold badge commemorating 70 years with the organization. Jim Hedin, also in attendance, was applauded for being the oldest surviving member of the department. He joined in 1953.
Other milestones of service pins went to: John Cullen and Tim Pitlock, 35 years; Robbie Cassou and David Windle, 30 years; and Dean Eaton, Kevin Errecart, Emillio Garcia, Maurice Huynh, Jacob Moss, Brian Newhouse, David Schmid, Joy Strecker and Taborski, who each received a five-year pin.
Longtime volunteer firefighter and previous recipient of the Firefighter of the Year award James Mann once again topped the top 10 list of responders, participating in 394 of the 460 emergency calls made by the department in 2011. Windle placed second, responding on 267 calls. Cassou topped the list of training hours spent during 2011 with 397. Carey and Mann followed with 303 and 282, respectively.