2017 Volunteers, Emergency Workers of the Year Announced

By David Elliott
KRSL – March 29, 2017

Russell/Ellsworth County Emergency Management Director Keith Haberer, Jack Brown, Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board Member and Russell County Commissioner Alan Kuntzsch, Glen Blundon, and Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board Member and Russell City Fire Chief Shane Preston. Not pictured: Durk Wecker and Chris Pasek.

Russell/Ellsworth County Emergency Management and the Russell 911 Communications Advisory Board announced the 2017 Volunteers and Emergency Workers of the Year Tuesday evening during the National Weather Service Storm Fury on the Plains Spotter Training Meeting at the Dream Theater in Russell.

The award for Volunteer and Emergency Worker of the Year was presented to four individuals, three from one nomination letter and one from another.

The first three – Jack Brown, Durk Wecker and Chris Pasek – are true volunteers who put their own lives at risk to rescue stranded campers. A flash flood in the early morning hours of Labor Day weekend last year trapped many individuals including children. Their nomination letter stated, “While all emergency services were desperately attempting to find resources that could rescue these people, three young men acquired a boat and solved the problem. I understand that it is not normal or safe for civilians to engage in these types of rescues, but I also believe there was nothing safe or normal about this situation. Had these three not acted when and how they did, this situation very possibly could have had a tragic ending.” A heartfelt thanks to these men is extended by the person that nominated them.

The fourth winner – Glen Blundon – has served on his fire department for over 16 years as a firefighter, Assistant Fire Chief and now Chief. As Chief, he is dedicated to keeping his department’s equipment at peak performance and replacing gear and equipment to maintain a modern, safe and efficient department. He provides training and exercises for his firefighters, strives to make every call leaving his own work setting idle and sees the importance of serving to your fullest as a volunteer firefighter. This past year when southern Kansas was devastated with a huge grass fire, he was proud to authorize several of his firefighters and a firetruck to be dispatched to aid in the fighting of this wildfire. He also sent his personal pickup along with his firefighters to use as their mobile command center. Donating his own time and semi, he hauled a load of hay, donated by Robert and Melinda Olson, to the ranchers who had lost their pastures to these destructive fires. He also volunteers to help out at the Gorham Street Dance, is the President of the Russell County Fire Chiefs Association, President of the Russell County Prescribed Burn Association, a trained storm spotter that puts himself in harms way during severe weather, volunteers at St. Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, has served as a club and project leader for the Big Creek 4-H Club and served 10 years on the Russell County Fair Board.

The 911 Advisory Board felt each of these individuals were very deserving of this award. The Board said each person could have received it on their own merit but it was determined to give an unprecedented four awards this year. The people these four individuals have impacted are eternally grateful for the selfless acts that have not gone unnoticed. These individuals selected show the true spirit of volunteers, one who does for others without any strings attached and no matter the danger to themselves.

 

Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
http://www.ksffa.com
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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