Cheryl Mowen receives Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. Outstanding Service Award

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot
Recipients of awards for service with Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. were announced Jan. 17. They are, from left, standing: Cheryl Mowen and Shelley Koons. Seated: Kyle Mellott, Darwin Fleagle and Bill Little.

Greencastle Rescue Hose Co. No. 1 honored its own at the 38th Annual Awards Banquet Saturday. The program was held at Blue Heron, longtime home of the RHC Special Events Center, and now leased to an independent catering company.

Cheryl Mowen, entering her fifth year as president of the volunteer fire department, was surprised to learn she received the Outstanding Service Award, announced by vice president Jeff Garland. Mowen presented a Special Recognition Award to Bill Little, and the President's Award to Shelley Koons. Dave Lutz named Kyle Mellott recipient of the EMS Chief Award. Fire chief Kevin Barnes gave the Firefighter of the Year Award to Darwin Fleagle. Little received a second honor, the Fire Police Award given out by Paul Leister.

Mowen told the crowd of RHC members, guests and area officials that 2014 was a busy and challenging year, and the number of volunteers was still below the need. Nevertheless, the crew responded to 2,024 calls.

"It is easy to get disheartened," she said. "Fire and emergency services is a thankless job, but it is a rewarding job."

She extended thanks to the municipalities they served.

"We have forged a relationship with Antrim Township, Greencastle and our county commissioners. Your support is noted and appreciated."

The evening paid tribute to members who died in the past year - Larry Angle, John Hoffman, Barry L. Keller and Alvin O. Sellers. Chaplains Harry Myers, Duane Cunningham and Dave Delauter participated in the memorial service. Myers recognized the fire police in particular. Their presence at planned events or in emergency situations prevented potential vehicle or pedestrian accidents.

"They stand in the bitter cold or sweltering heat to keep order where otherwise chaos would exist," said Myers.

Bill Brown sang "His Eye is on the Sparrow".

Greg Hoover was emcee. During 2014 the fire department responded to 665 calls, and the EMS to 1,359 calls.