Firefighters Honor Top Department Members
May 8, 2019
Sidney volunteer firefighters honored their own during their annual awards banquet Saturday night - including two long-time leaders who stepped down from their officer positions in the past year.
Firemen rose to their feet to applaud the special recognition of Keith Stone, former chief, and former assistant chief Larry Chaon. Between them, the pair amassed more than 50 years leading the Sidney volunteers. Stone announced at last year's banquet he would step down after 32 years, while Chaon was an assistant for 24.
Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief LaVerne Bown opened the ceremony with a review of the department's year, which Bown said was "one of the busiest I've seen."
The department currently has 33 members, plus eight probationary firefighters. In the last year they responded to 126 calls for service, 87 in the city and 39 rural, amassing 1,175 hours of response time. In addition, Bown said firefighters put in 1,571 hours of training.
Unlike previous years there were no length of service awards given at the banquet. Instead, Bown gave special recognition to 10 members who distinguished themselves with the most hours of service. That service ranged from training and fire calls to other forms of community service such as parades and other functions. The special recognition went out to: Matt Butts, Mike Butts, Dustin DeNovellis, James Harmon, Ron Leal, Bronson Reece, Dana Reece, Rob Roderick, Dave Sanders and Nick Sutton.
DeNovellis and Mike Butts were announced as finalists for Firefighter of the Year. That award goes to the firefighter chosen by his peers as the year's top member. This year, Butts was chosen for the honor.