Sidney’s Department of Fire and Emergency Services held an awards ceremony on March 11, 2021. The ceremony recognized numerous members of both the department and the community who before and during the pandemic; performed selfless and extraordinary acts for the betterment of their fellow citizens. The event was held in the apparatus bay of Sidney Fire Station 1 to allow ample space to remain compliant with Covid-19 restrictions.
During the course of the evening, the following members of the department and public were recognized:
- The Shelby County Firefighters Association presented Assistant Chief Chris Niswonger, Lieutenant Rod Dyer, Firefighter Steve O’Meara, and Firefighter Doug Stammen with retirement plaques for their years of service to the Shelby County community. Additionally, Lieutenant Rick Slife was recognized with the ‘Pusher Award’ for his leadership and service to the Shelby County Hazardous Materials Response Team.
- Deputy Chief Dallas Davis, Lieutenant Jason Truesdale, Lieutenant Brian Lundy, Lieutenant Bryan Ramge, and Firefighter Lucas Woodward, along with civilian Bob Spearman, were recognized for their extraordinary life-saving efforts on March 28, 2020, during a high water event. Their collective actions rescued four flood victims without injury. The department members involved received a ‘Unit Citation’ and Mr. Spearman was presented a ‘Life Saver Award’.
- 2019 Firefighter of the Year Chance Guisinger was presented his plaque and publicly recognized for his achievements. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, formal recognition of Firefighter Guisinger was delayed.
- 2020 Firefighter of the Year Collin Habel was presented his plaque, commendation bar, and publicly recognized for his achievements.
- Civilian Jim Mangas was presented the ‘Fire Chief’s Medal of Honor’ for his actions on October 27, 2019. Mr. Mangas and his family were dining at a local restaurant when he observed a female in a nearby booth who was choking. Mr. Mangas’ quick and decisive response saved her life. The victim and her family were present for the presentation of the award.
- Civilian Isaiah Linton was presented a ‘Life Saver Award’ for his actions on March 27, 2020. Isaiah was watching his brother and sister while his mother made a quick trip to the grocery store. A fire broke out in an upstairs bedroom of their home and Isaiah quickly helped his siblings escape the fire. Once across the street to safety at a neighbor’s home (who called 911), Isaiah made contact with family members to advise them of the situation and ensure them that he and his siblings were safe.
The actions and service of all of these individuals exemplifies the mission of the Sidney Department of Fire and Emergency Services, “to serve and protect the community by preventing loss of life & property”. The entire ceremony was recorded by Sidney High School Media students. The students will edit and produce a video that will be shared with Sidney City Council at their March 22, 2021, meeting. Attendance at the event was kept as limited as possible, therefore councilmembers were not invited to attend in observance of pandemic protocols.