The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Wolfgang Kurtz
LOG Editor 

Seward firefighters honor service at banquet


Jillian Chapman | Seward Volunteer Fire Department

Mike McHone took home the firefighter of the year award at the Seward Fire Department's annual banquet Saturday.

Mike McHone won the firefighter of the year award at the Seward Volunteer Fire Department's annual Fire Banquet, on Saturday at the Seward Military Resort's Seabolt Hall. The capacity crowd, which included almost the entire Seward City Council as well as Seward City Manager James Hunt, looked on as McHone and Jonathan Gage were honored for their distinguished service during 2013. A third plaque was awarded to Terry Moon, who managed to advance through more training during 2013 than any other volunteer.

Skip and Marie Fletcher and the Liberty Theatre received special recognition for making significant and meaningful contributions to Seward volunteer firefighters and the community. The accompanying plaque was graciously accepted by Marie Fletcher.

Medallions were awarded to those SFD and SVFD firefighters making over 100 calls from the 339 responses during 2013. Due to circumstances beyond Rob Mathis' control, SFD Fire Chief Eddie Athey ended up with 189, ahead of otherwise retired Walter Corrigan, who can generally be counted on to top the list. Deputy Fire Chief Mathis, Terry Moon, and retired SFD Fire Chief Dave Squires tied for third with 136 responses apiece. Mathis returned to SFD in July, Squires retired in June and Moon didn't offer an excuse.

Newly minted SVFD Lt. Jillian Chapman, who recently joined Eng. Terry Moon, Lt. Austin Chapman and Lt. Casey Skinner among 2014 promotions, made sure to point out her mother's latest creation, a cake constructed in the form of a fire hydrant. Dawn Campbell spent at least 10 minutes defusing her creation during the awards ceremony. Another creation unveiled during the banquet was a one-of-a-kind chainsaw carving in the form of a firefighting bear, authored by SVFD Lt. Austin Chapman, which prompted Chief Athey to suggest that a sprinklered display case at the firehall might be in order.

During the awards banquet, a memorial table was set for SVFD Engineer Jerry Tuthill who died last year and for Anchorage Fire Sr. Captain Jeff Bayless, who died last week during a training exercise. The chicken and steak dinner was prepared courtesy of Hotel Seward and Ms. Gene's Place and their staff. Bear Creek Volunteer Fire Department was on the alert to cover Seward's calls during the event.


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