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The Magee Fire department recently held its annual Firefighters Banquet.
This year due to the Covid Pandemic the banquet was reduced to firefighters and their significant other. We are very hopeful to return to “normal” next year. We are very thankful for the City of Magee and Simpson County Administrations that support us. We are also grateful to have the support of the great citizens of the county that support us as well.
Chief Lane Steele welcomed all in attendance and asked Chaplin James Fortenberry to bless the meal prepared by Berry’s Seafood. After the meal Captain I David Craft spoke on how it is very important to have good support at home and asked that all firefighters come up and present their significant other with a single red rose. Assistant Chief Phillip Magee then asked that all fire department officers stand to be recognized:
James Fortenberry – Chaplin
Charlie Valadie Fire Marshal
Philip Allan – Secretary
Michael Allan – Parliamentarian
Jason Clayburn – Rescue Lieutenant
Tony Puckett – Lieutenant II
Chris Tuggle – Lieutenant I
John Hosey – Rescue Captain
Shane Steele – Captain II
David Craft – Captain I
Phillip Magee – Assistant Chief
Lane Steele – Chief
Shane Steele and Phillip Magee presented firefighters with plaques for accomplishments they made throughout the year.
Michael Allan – completion of Hazardous Materials NFPA 1072, Firefighter 1001 – Level I, II.
Lane Steele – Highest Fire Call Percentage 97.7% attended 170 of 174 fire calls.
Shane Steele – 100% Meeting Attendance
Mark Parker – 100% Meeting Attendance
Phillip Magee – 100% Meeting Attendance
Lane Steele – 100% Meeting Attendance
The next awards were presented to firefighters who attended 50% or higher in both meetings and fire calls.
Rueben Koehn, James Fortenberry, Michael Allan, Mark Parker, John Hosey, Shane Steele, David Craft, Phillip Magee, Lane Steele
Chief Steele and Assistant Chief Magee presented plaques to firefighters for their years of service.
John Hosey – 5 years of service
Weston Neely – 5 years of service
Kory Smith – 5 years of service
Mike Chafin – 5 years of service
Mark Parker – 15 years of service
Philip Allan – 20 years of service
Chief Steele then asked that the 2019 Firefighter Of The Year Reuben Koehn come present the 2020 Firefighter Of The Year with the Crystal Flame. The FFOY is voted on by the members of the department in August during the department’s officers elections. The previous year’s recipient is the only person to know who the next year’s recipient is and has to keep it a secret until the night of the banquet. Reuben began his speech similar to past recipients and that was by thanking everyone for voting for him the past year. After thanking everyone, he began his speech describing the 2020 recipient.
“This man is a great man to have one the department, he’s a hardworking guy, he’s honest, and he’s humble. I never have seen him get all up in a wad about anything he’s always real calm. You see him on a scene he’s always checking in on you and watching your back. I’m just proud to pass it on. One thing about him is he has many different names. He has his given name and his department name. A lot of us know him as Pops’ James Fortenberry.” Pops was then presented with the Crystal Flame and he began his speech.
” I wish I knew what to say this is a dream come true. It’s a blessing the only thing that is more of a blessing than this award is the fact I have had the privilege and opportunity for over a year almost two years now to be a part of this department. To meet and be a part of the lives of a lot of you guys. You have been a blessing to me and I just pray that I can be a blessing to you. Thank you. I need to sit down.” Chief Lane Steele then asked Chaplin James Fortenberry to close the banquet with prayer.
Photos courtesy Matt Harrison
Magee Fire Dept
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