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Russell Firefighters Honored at Annual Banquet

Russell City Fire DepartmentRussell City Fire Captain Steve Wells, Firefighter Keegan Dick and many others were honored for their service April 9 at the annual meeting and banquet of the Russell City Fire Department and Firefighters Relief Association.

According to Fire Chief Shane Preston, Steve Wells was named the winner of the 2013 Earl Hemphill Award for Outstanding Leadership. Preston's speech on April 9 stated, "Wells is fully dedicated to the growth of the firefighters and to the department. He spends extra time for the department researching different training ideas and techniques. When he is making decisions on scene he always has safety in mind. He draws from his 20-plus years of experience and applies it to trainings. He is approachable, open to change and challenges firefighters to continue to learn and grow."

Keegan Dick was named Firefighter of the Year. According to Preston, "Dick is always available and knowledgeable. He leads by example when he arrives on scene calm and cool, following procedures and keeping safety in mind. He is a leader who relates to others and is eager to learn."

Also recognized was Firefighter Michelle Craven with the Standby Award for dedication to the department and Jim Thomas for his retirement in 2012. Thomas served on the Russell City Fire Department for 24 years and three of those years as Lieutenant.

Former Chief Sam Schmidt was presented with the Captain's Badge. He was also named the department's Safety Officer.

Firefighters Mike Schneider, Amber Dick, Keegan Dick, Jordan Harrison, Darlene Stierlen and Brandon Dinkel were recognized for their five years of service. Lieutenant Jeff Florian was recognized for his 10 years of service.

Firefighters Joshua Seguine and Darlene Stierlen were honored for their recent certifications; Seguine for a KU certificate for State Level Instructor 1 and Stierlen for a national certificate for Hazardous Materials Operations and Hazardous Materials Technician.

Russell City Firefighters who responded to 40 percent or more of the fire calls in 2013 and over 100 percent of the required number of fire drills were recognized April 9 as well. They included Assistant Fire Chief Steve Knopp, Captains Sam Schmidt and Steve Wells, Lieutenants Jeff Florian and Marc Nichols, and Firefighters Keegan Dick, Darlene Stierlen, Brandon Dinkel, Rick Webb, Dylan Riedel, Michelle Craven and Joshua Seguine.

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