The McHenry Township Fire Protection District recently honored firefighters, officers, paramedics and Board of Trustee members for a total combined 600 years of volunteer or part-time service to the 60,000 residents in the 56-square-mile fire district.
The announcement of officer and firefighter of the year, the unveiling of a new fire protection district information video and presentation of service awards were made during the annual awards event at Smith’s Central Garage in McHenry.
“This annual event allows us the opportunity to gather together as a group to recognize and honor the many years of service of our dedicated personnel here at the McHenry Township Fire Protection District,” Chief Tony Huemann said.
“This year we had members recognized for five years and up to 50 years of service to the organization – not many companies can boast of that length of service or commitment by their personnel. We continually have many each year who reach those high number of years of service.”
More than 170 MTFPD members, community dignitaries and family members gathered to congratulate those recognized for their years of service.
Additionally, the recently sworn-in members were honored for achieving goals toward earning firefighting, EMT and paramedic certifications. Gov. Bruce Rauner was not able to attend but sent a videotaped message of congratulations to all MTFPD members.
“I always enjoy this night to come together with our firefighters and their families and honor all of them for their dedication,” Huemann said. “It’s nice to get to see the spouses and children and thank them also for their part in supporting our organization.”
Those members honored included Lt. Mike Kempster, 20 years; Diana St. Clair, 25 years; Bill Comstock, 30 years; Leora Foreman, 35 years; Capt. Dave Karls, 35 years; Mark Diedrich, 40 years; Trustee Chris Bennett, 50 years; and Capt. Joe Foreman, 39 years of service and Officer of the Year award.