Tuesday, February 1, 2011

2011 Crisfield Volunteer Fire Department's annual banquet

2011 Crisfield Volunteer Fire Department annual Banquet 
"So as you look at the firefighter with his rake, hose or axe,
His beet red face or ice covered mustache,
You should know why he goes through that smoky front door,
And is forced to crawl like a baby down on the floor.
He does it to save both lives and property,
All that is precious to you and to me.
So take a good look at this modern warrior who serves his call proud and true,
And know that he would die just to save me and you."
   ~ Robert J. Athans

First, I would like to say that I have a lot of readers across the country who live in big cities. I know everyone appreciates their local firefighters who put their lives on the line for our safety, but you really gotta love our volunteers who make up around 70% of the firefighters nation-wide.  People who put their lives on the line with no pay for strangers are nothing less than heroes in my book. 

Last year we had a terrible ice storm on the eve of the banquet but the show went on. At that time I was still working for a daily newspaper and  Chief Bill Reynolds offered to send a truck for me.  I declined, saying that if my house were burning down no one would be complaining about getting out in bad weather, so I slipped and slided my way to the banquet because...well, because  I appreciate what we have in our local firefighters and their families who give them up to danger at the most inopportune times whenever duty calls. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

A note about my photos: Coming from a hard-news background, I enjoy capturing moments in time more than I do creating them. When I worked for a large daily newspaper it was taboo to have people looking into cameras. There were exceptions of course, depending on the stories, but most of my time in the old days was spent convincing people I was invisible and that they should go about their business as if I were not there. When I went to work for the last daily newspaper they had a page and section that featured people looking into the camera. That was a hard transition for me and oftentimes when shooting for those pages, I cheated - I'm not here.

For this post I have a mix of photos that includes both firefighters, their families, and guests.  If anyone wants a high resolution copy without the copyright please email me and I will be happy to send it to you. Dan, who did a great job getting everyone in posed and group shots allowed me to concentrate a little more on being invisible, and less about worrying on who I may have missed.  News photographers look for action and composition, and  it is easy to get sidetracked. Everyone is important, especially our first responders. You can see Dan's photos on Facebook. All of our firefighters are there.  Thanks, Dan. You can partner with me anytime.

~ ~ ~
 Chief Frankie Pruitt with his wife Mary Beth.

 Checking out the program...

Arrivals to the banquet.

A little fun before the start...

A great meal by The Cove.

Thanks to the ladies who did a lovely job on the decorations.

Mayor P.J. Purnell, along with elected members of the City of Crisfield, prepare to present the Keys to the City to the fire department.

The "Keys" contain an oyster knife and a crab knife, and this award is highly coveted around these parts. Congratulations!

Jenny tries to hide...

It doesn't work.

Behind every good firefighter...

Delegate Charles Otto was one of the many guests.


Senator Jim Mathias addresses the crowd.

 Robert Hunt received the top responder award for calls made during 2010.

Doug Curtis receives the top responder runner-up award.

Out-going Chief Bill Reynolds, center, receives an award for his dedication and service. Reynolds served from 2006-2010.

Reynolds also received a black and white framed photo.

 Thanks for letting me "pose" this photo, Bill.

I captured Dan, along with another photographer, doing their jobs.

Congratulations to Frankie Pruitt, the 2011 Chief of the Crisfield Volunteer Fire Department.

Thanks to the staff of The Cove.

Ever since I retired from the newspaper everyone wants to take my photo. I brought the whole gang in for this one. Three photographers and a reporter? That shows how much we value and love our Crisfield firefighters.

1 comment:

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Patty, very nicely done, firefighters are surely to be much appreciated in any community, especially volunteers. Nicely donw and kudos to all. (Grenville was a firefighter in NJ for 27 years.)