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Hoodland Fire banquet honors last two years posted on 10/01/2022

After a two-year break from Hoodland Fire District’s (HFD) annual award ceremony, the event’s organizer Division Chief Brian Henrichs found himself with a unique problem – he needed to make sure that other members of the planning committee didn’t discover that they were receiving awards for their service in the past two years.

“It’s been difficult this year because I’ve got to keep the awards secret,” Henrichs said.

Due to pandemic social distancing restrictions, the HFD personnel have not had the opportunity since 2019 to celebrate the hard work and dedication of the district’s finest.

Members of all parts of the HFD, including career staff, volunteers, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members and the support group gathered on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Mt. Hood Lions Club for the return of the annual awards banquet and picnic. The event was an opportunity for the district to catch up on missed commendations.

“We had a lot of people to recognize,” Henrichs said.

 The Rookie of the Year awards were given to Brandon Bergeron for 2020 and Kiera McPherson for 2021 to recognize their work exemplifying the values of the district.

The Firefighter of the Year award recipients were chosen by community members in the district. Community members voted through an online SurveyMonkey poll. Matt Nicholson received the award for 2020 and Dawson Kooch for 2021.

Dawson Kooch also took home the Chief’s Award for 2020 for his work managing the new Government Camp station.

“I've put a lot of time in. It's been a great four and a half years,” Kooch said. “I've been motivated to help make the place better and it's great to be recognized.”

“He really took the reins, and there wasn’t a project or task that he couldn’t take on,” Henrichs said. “I couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Division Chief/Fire Marshal Scott Kline received the Chief’s Award for 2021 for his tireless work seeking out grants for the district. HFD received approximately $300,000 in funding in recent years due to Kline’s efforts.

“We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without him,” Henrichs said.

District volunteer firefighter Amanda Schmitt also received multiple awards, including a Meritorious Service Award for her “unwavering commitment to all aspects of the fire service.”

Portland General Electric received the second Meritorious Service Award for their strategic public safety power shut-off in the Mount Hood area during the unprecedented high winds that caused devastating fires throughout the state in early September 2020.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that shutting off power saved the community significant loss and devastation,” Henrichs said. “We had inactive power lines go down on Kiwanis Camp Road during the wind event. If a fire had started there, we would have been unable to stop it.”

Unit Citations, a formal, honorary mention of a uniformed services’ specific and outstanding performance, were awarded to the TIPS NW Hoodland Chapter and the Hoodland Fire Cadet Program for 2020.

Engine 351, Rescue 351 and C351 received a citation for a multi-patient motor vehicle accident that involved three patients being pinned on the scene and requiring extrication in 2021.

Also in 2021, Engine 351 and C352 received a citation for managing multiple calls including the successful delivery of twins at home.

Additional awards given to staff and volunteers for exemplary service include:

 

EMT of the year

 

  • 2020 – Amanda Schmitt
  • 2021 – Anthony LeFevour

 

CERT Member of the year

 

  • 2020 – Felecia Forston
  • 2021 – Sue Allen

 

Support Group Member of the year

 

  • 2020 – Dan and Nancy Wolf
  • 2021 – Dale Crotty

 

 

By Ben Simpson/MT

 

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