Volunteer fire departments honored at annual banquet
By Bo Black
CARROLLTON | The 2015 Firefighter of the Year has a family history of volunteer
“This young man was brought up with a servant’s heart and attitude,” said Allen Taylor, previous Firefighter of the Year winner. “His values were instilled at a young age and he has proven that he will carry on
the family tradition in service and in deed.”
Taylor noted that this year’s winner had a father that served numerous years with the volunteer fire
department, along with his uncle who serves as fire chief. He then introduced
the 2015 Firefighter of the Year, Derrick Richardson of the Reform Volunteer
Fire Department. Richardson is pictured above with Allen Taylor, a previous
Firefighter of the Year winner.
“I was shocked,” Richardson said at the July 23 Pickens County Firefighters Association Banquet.
“I never thought I was in the running for it. I don’t feel like I deserve an award. I do what I do because I love serving the
community and I love serving people.”
In addition to volunteering, Richardson serves as maintenance technician of the
Reform Housing Authority, ensuring that the needs of the elderly and disabled
are met daily.
“He goes above and beyond his duties and takes a personal role in making sure his
residents are properly cared for,” Taylor said. Taylor added that Richardson is often the first to respond to a
call and that Richardson answers 98 percent of calls that come in.
Richardson began volunteering in Palmetto in 2000 and then volunteered with RVFD
beginning in 2003.
Firefighter of the Year is selected by a committee of the three past recipients
of the award. This year’s committee was made up of Taylor, Chuck McDaniel and Tommy Orr.
The 2015 Fire Department of the Year went to Reform Volunteer Fire Department
for the second consecutive year. Chief David Richardson accepted the award on
behalf of the department.
The criteria for this award is based upon the service of the members to the
community, not just by responding to calls but service in other areas as well.
In addition to recognizing individual award winners, Senator Gerald Allen
presented checks to all the fire departments and thanked them for their service
and Eric Smith donated $500 to the Firefighters Association.
The lives of Walley Mahan (Liberty VFD) and Mary Sue Cummings (Sapps/Union
Chapel), along with all firefighters who have passed away, were honored.
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