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Area firefighters honored at IVFA District meeting

Friday, July 14, 2006

Brent Bush doesn't think his district will see another day like it did on Wednesday.

The chairman of District 11B of the Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association, along with several of its members, honored three firefighters with a combined 150 years of experience on Wednesday, by giving them 50-year lifetime membership cards and pins at the district's regular meeting.

Fillmore Volunteer Fire Dept. Fire Chief Mike Davies also was honored with the Midwest Fire Safety award on Wednesday.

"We had three this year, and that's a lot," Bush said of the long-time honorees following the meeting.

Roachdale Volunteer Fire Dept. firefighter Howard Hedge, along with Floyd Township Volunteer Fire Dept. firefighter Ted Salzman were two of the firefighters honored with membership cards and pins. Salzman also received his 25-year pin from the district on Wednesday.

Hedge has volunteered at Roachdale for 50 years. He said he didn't think he'd last that long when he started fighting fires.

"You just kind of get it in your blood," he said. "This means a lot. It's a big organization."

Salzman began his firefighting career in New York, but later moved to Floyd Township.

"I'm glad I was able to do it," Salzman said. "This is a great honor. It's nice to be recognized."

Bush said Davies, who also received his 25-year pin Wednesday, was very deserving of the award he received.

"I've known Mike all of my life," Bush said. "He's a hard worker. He sticks with it and gets it done."

Bush said five applications were submitted for the award. He said he picked Davies based on his number of years served.

Following the meeting, Davies said he didn't expect to receive the award.

"It's quite an honor," Davies said. "I'm surprised. I wasn't expecting that.

"I think there are a lot more firemen out there that probably deserve it more than I did."

In addition, IVFA Vice President Larry Ketchem -- who is also a member of District 11B -- was recognized for 50 years of service Wednesday. He received his membership card and pin at the IVFA State Convention on June 30.

Also receiving 25-year pins were FVFD firefighters Ben Heavin and Paul Heavin, along with FTVFD firefighters Don Steward, Gene Buchanan, Tim Jenks, Mark Nelson, Paul Enders, Roger Wright, Ernie Enlow, and Richard Wood.

The district encompasses 41 volunteer fire departments spanning five counties, including Fountain, Montgomery, Parke, Putnam, and Vermillion. There are 25 volunteer fire districts in Indiana. The event was hosted by the Greencastle Fire Department.

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