QUEENSTOWN — The Queenstown Volunteer Fire Department canceled its annual awards and installation banquet this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead the department presented awards and installed its new officers after the Jan. 14 membership meeting at the fire house.
“As with most companies, we erred on the side of safety and canceled our banquet this year. With the pandemic, we kept everything low key, but we wanted to recognize our members’ accomplishments,” said 2020 Queenstown VFD President Jamie Lewis. “Also, we did not do the traditional horseshoe-shape gathering in the front of the room for the oath of office due to distancing. Instead, they (the officers) stood where they were and took their oaths.”
The incoming officers were installed by Queenstown Town Commissioner Al Hardee.
In 2020, Queenstown Volunteer Fire Department ran 333 calls — down from 385 in 2019, according to the statistical report prepared by 2020 QVFD Vice President Jeff Lewis. The busiest month was June with 36 calls, and the busiest day of the week was Thursday with 53 calls. Engine 32 ran 114 calls.
The most frequent type of calls were motor vehicle accidents, 65, structure fires, 60, and medical assists, 55.
The top five fire responders for 2020 were Jared Lewis with the most, 247; Jason Haney with 219 calls; Lennie Anthony with 184 calls; Jamie Lewis with 180 calls; and Bryon Callahan with 176 calls.
Fire Chief Frank Russum presented the Chief’s Award to both Jared Lewis and Jason Haney for their dedication and service. Both are students at Queen Anne’s County High School, and the two “have spent a lot of time at the station while schools have been closed, as you can see from the calls they’ve run,” Jamie Lewis said in a phone interview.
Lewis presented the President’s Award to Matt Rusch, who has been an instrumental part of the department’s Santa Run for many years and also helped the department in obtaining some needed equipment last year.
The S.E.W. Friel Memorial Award goes to the person “who represents the true spirit of volunteerism and what it means to be a volunteer.” This year the Friel award went to Candy Golt.
“She really does a lot for us,” Lewis said, adding Golt served as secretary and helped with fundraisers and other things over the years. The Friel award was presented prior to the Jan. 14 meeting because Golt could not be there that night.
The department recognized three Firefighters of the Year based on length of service; the awards are voted on by the members. Jared Lewis was recognized as Firefighter of the Year for one to five years of service; J.T. Lewis, for five to 15 years of service; and Frank Russum, for more than 15 years of service.
Each year the Queenstown Lions Club gives a special firefighter award to someone “who goes the extra mile” and is picked by the president and chief. The Lions Club 2020 Firefighter of the Year Award went to Jason Haney.
Brady Whalley received the EMS Captain’s Award and was also recognized as one of two EMS Providers of the Year. The EMS Provider of the Year Award is voted on by the department. Whalley is a student at The Citadel in Charleston, S.C., and was presented his awards before he returned to school, Jamie Lewis said.
Taylor Oldershaw tied with Whalley for the EMS Provider of the Year.
Vince Anthony was recognized for 70 years of volunteer service with the department.
Other members recognized with years of service pins included: Steve Johnson, 35 years; Bryon Callahan, Jeff Lewis, Chris Nash, Thomas Nelson and Geoff Willis, all 30 years; Harry Lister, 25 years; Chris Pinder, 15 years; and Jason Lewis, Michelle Lewis and Taylor Oldershaw, all five years.
Officers for 2021 are as follows:
Administrative Officers: Jeff Lewis, president; Bryon Callahan, vice president; Frank Russum, treasurer; Candy Golt, secretary; Michelle Lewis, assistant secretary; and Vince Anthony, Jim Lewis, Scott McClyment, Bryon Callahan and Sid Compton, members of the board of directors.
Fire Officers: Frank Russum, chief; Lonnie Anthony, 1st assistant chief; Thomas Nelson, second assistant chief; Tyler Golt, 1st captain; Chris Nash, 2nd captain; J.T. Lewis, 1st lieutenant; Matt Rusch, 2nd lieutenant; and Lonnie Anthony, superintendent of machinery.
EMS Officers: Tony Nastus, administrator; Bobby King, assistant EMS administrator; Taylor Oldershaw, EMS captain; Michelle Lewis, 1st lieutenant; and Brady Whalley, 2nd lieutenant.
Ladies Auxiliary Officers: Trish Anthony, president; Diane Lewis, treasurer; and Michelle Lewis, secretary.