QUEENSTOWN — In addition to celebrating the hard work of first responders during 2022, Queenstown Volunteer Fire Department announced the purchase of property to build a new firehouse.
Saturday evening, Jan. 14, the Queenstown VFD held its annual awards banquet and installation of officers. It was the first time since the pandemic began that the fire department has held an in-person awards program, resuming at the Bay Country Moose Lodge in Queenstown.
Following a blessing by Pastor Amor Woolsey and dinner by Chesapeake Celebrations Catering, Queenstown VFD President Jeff Lewis gave a quick summary of 2022 service to the community, noting the department responded to 393 emergency calls this past year — of which 76 were for structure fires. The busiest day for calls was Saturday, and the busiest piece of equipment was Engine 32, with 139 calls.
“Yesterday, Friday, Jan. 13,” Lewis said, “I signed paperwork for our purchasing a two and a half acre parcel of property for our new firehouse, which has been a long awaited dream for us.”
The parcel was previously part of the large farm owned by the late Frank Dudley (which is the farm property that surrounds the QA Animal Services facility). Located about a quarter of a mile from the original fire house, still located on Main Street, the land is just outside Queenstown proper. The old fire house is obsolete, and too small for today’s modern fire trucks.
Brian Caldwell received the 2022 President’s Award. The 2022 Chief’s Award was presented to both Timothy Miller and Stu Tarrant. The EMS Captain’s Award was presented to Chris Pinder, who was the top EMS responder, answering 139 calls in 2022.
Presenting the Queenstown Lions Club Firefighter of the Year, club President Crystal Sipes bestowed the award on Daniel Miller. The S.E.W. Friel Award was presented to Vince Anthony for his 72 years of service as a member of QVFD. Lennie Anthony accepted the award on behalf of his father who was unable to attend.
As is tradition fire department, members voted on in-house awards based on years of service: the 2022 Firefighter of the Year less than five years of service was awarded to Daniel Miller; Firefighter of the Year five-15 years service awarded to JT Lewis, and Firefighter of the Year with over 15 years of service went to both Jamie Lewis and Stu Tarrant. Brady Whalley was recognized as the 2022 EMS Provider of the Year.
The top five fire responders in 2022 were: J.T. Lewis with 137 calls; Jamie Lewis, 152 calls; Lennie Anthony, 165; Chris Nash, 201; and Timothy Palmer, 207.
The top five EMS responders: Jared Lewis, fifth place; Taylor Oldershaw, fourth; J.C. Lewis, third;Brady Whalley, second; and Chris Pinder with the most calls.
For the most Years of Service Award culminating in 2022, Lennie Anthony received a large plaque for his 50 years of active service, and a 50-year membership pin.