Firefighters are heroes

Heroes on the Timberline team

Barbara Lawlor

Gilpin County

Firefightrs 5/2/2013When the tone goes out to Timberline firefighters, they rush to the scene of a fire, an accident, a health emergency. While civilians rush away from a danger zone, firefighters jump into the middle of it, using their training, their courage and their equipment to help others in need.

On Saturday night, April 13, the Timberline Fire Protection District honored its heroic firefighters with a scrumptious buffet at Roy’s Last Shot — piles of jumbo shrimp, salads, fruit, cheese, chicken breast and gravy. No limit. As the firefighters and their families ate and reminisced and told stories, they enjoyed each other’s company free of emergency stress.

Rick Wenzel, president of the TFPD Board of Directors, welcomed the guests and thanked owners and wait staff of the Last Shot, the volunteers and the members of the auxiliary who support them. Fire chief Chris Jennings then took over, presenting the awards for hours served and for service above and beyond what is expected.

Throughout the award presentation raffle ticket winners were announced, recipients of their choice of cool firefighter gear. Chief Jennings said that the District’s biggest assets were the neighboring fire departments, behind the scenes retirees and to the firefighters’ family support.

The first special award was presented to Cody Allen of the Central City Fire Department. Allen had been driving on South Boulder Creek Road when he saw smoke coming from the basement windows of an A-frame house. He knocked on the door and then ran inside to evacuate the residents who were sleeping as the house filled with smoke.

Chief Jennings lauded Allen’s selfless actions, saying entering a burning A-frame is dangerous. “I have no doubt that Cody saved a life. He made a decision to stop and get involved when it wasn’t his district or his scene.” Cody’s father, Gary Allen, Central City’s fire chief, presented the award to his son.

Basic Certificate Awards went to Eric Becker, Greg Bergin, Cammy Cullar, Shivaum Finn, Alice Frisch, Eric Hartman, Ian Hinderman, Josh Korb, Randy Ralphs for hours prior to his retirement, Bob Walsh and Rick Wenzel.

Certificates for those with 50 training hours or more went to Levi Beaudette, Randy Beaudette, David Canfield, John Carder, Mario Casilio, Chris Conway, Curtis Cotter, Jim Crawford, Eric Douglas, Ralph Gould, Emmit Hoyl, Galen Koephke, Caleb Kropf, Jan Lande, Paul Ondr, Lawrence Pearlman, Ryan Roberts, Rob Savoye, Katie Schimanskey, Aaron Skeen, Ian Szymanski, Dave Thompson, Brandon Witte and Mike Zeilbeck.

Job shirts and Black Call Club Hats for responding to 100 calls went to: Chris Patrick, Cheryl Schimanskey, Chip Smith and Dennis Whalen. A 200 Call Club shirt and hat went to Chris Schimanskey.

The Responder of the Year hat, shirt and auxiliary check went to Jerry Johnson. Special individual awards went to Chip Smith who earned the Leading Trainer Award; Eric Hartman who won the Cadet of the Year; Ian Szymanski who won the Rookie of the Year; Dennis Whalen who won the Officer of the Year; Chris Schimanskey who was presented the Chief’s Award; and Jerry Johnson and Dave Canfield who tied for the title of Firefighter of the Year.

The coveted Fire Station of the Year went to Station 4 located on Magnolia Road. Chief Jennings said the station was chosen because it is the most organized.

There were many standing ovations during the evening and after the last tiramisu slice, the last piece of cheesecake, members of the Timberline family went home, their stomachs satisfied and their hearts bursting with pride.