Press Release-12/7/22: Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Presents 2022 Service Awards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Bob Pudney
Email: [email protected]
Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Presents 2022 Service Awards
Beech Mountain, NC, December 7, 2022 – The Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department (BMVFD) hosted its Service Awards and Holiday Celebration on Wednesday, December 7 at the Buckeye Recreation Center. Volunteer firefighters and medics, their spouses and significant others, town staff and council members all took part in this annual dinner to thank the volunteers for their service to the community.
During his remarks, Beech Mountain Volunteer Department Fire Chief Bob Pudney noted that it is the families that allow firefighters to serve. “It can be tough on our families when we run out the door at unexpected and often inconvenient times to answer a call for help,” stated Chief Pudney who also serves as the Town Manager for Beech Mountain.
Chief Pudney reported that so far this year, BMVFD has received 235 Calls, which is still at the high-volume level. He also reported that his year the Town of Beech Mountain added a 24-Hour Advanced Life Support Unit at Station #2.
Chief Pudney addressed the new Medics, ”We welcome you and want you know what a dramatic difference your presence has made for our community and for our EMS Responders.” He also thanked the Town Council for providing the funding for the new EMS Unit and for their continued support of the department. Council Members in attendance were Mayor Barry Kaufman, Vice Mayor Jimmie Accardi, Kelly Melang and Weidner Abernethy who serves on the BMVFD
The event continued as the Chief acknowledged the Top Five Members for their dedication and service to the department for the year. The Top Recipient was Shane Johnson with 391 hours. Lt. Kevin Carr, Jim Brooks, Captain Tim Holland and Ethan Suddreth were the next four members contributing collectively 1390 volunteer hours.
Captain Tim Holland continued the Awards Ceremony. He noted that the BMVFD has 13 members with over 10 years of service. 9 members have served 20 years or more and 5 members have served over 40 years of service. “This is remarkable considering that 7 to 8 years is the average length of service,” stated Captain Holland. “In 2022, the BMVFD has 39 Members and their combined years of service totals 506 years.”
It was noted that one family was responsible for 100 years of the 506 years of service…the Holland Family. Tim, Jan and Michael Holland have continued the family tradition of firefighting service to the community started by Vern Holland over 50 years ago.
Life-time Achievement Awards were presented to Jim Brooks and Riley Hatch for reaching the milestone of serving 50 years on the BMVFD. Jan Holland was presented with her 40-year service pin and Weidner Abernethy received his 10-year pin.
Chief Pudney reminded attendees that the theme for this year’s town Christmas Parade was a “Very Beary Christmas”. The Parade will be held Thursday, December 22 at 4pm. The BMVFD decorates all the trucks, the town decorates equipment and various local businesses and groups enter floats for this free “small-town” celebration. For more information about the Parade or to enter a float, please call Buckeye Recreation Center at 828.387.3003.
“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to All. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the Parade,” stated Chief Pudney in his closing remarks.
Beech Mountain is the highest town in Eastern America and an ideal vacation spot in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Our elevation (5,506 feet) provides four seasons of fun. We are at the heart of the High Country and offer our residents and visitors an entire mountain of activities and entertainment.
Should you have any questions, or need more information, please contact Bob Pudney at [email protected] or call 828.387.4236.
Top 2022 Participant Shane Johnson with wife Leslie
L-R: Holland Family – Firefighter Michael, Captain Tim and 40 Year Pin Recipient, Jan Holland with Chief Bob Pudney
Life-Time Achievement Award Recipients Riley Hatch (L) and Jim Brooks (R) with Chief Bob Pudney (C)
Town of Beech Mountain Council Member Jimmie Accardi with family
Firefighter Chrissy Bonestell (C), Award Event Organizer with husband Mike (R) and
Ethan Suddreth (L) one of the Top Five Volunteer Hour Participants with 333 hours.