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Police, firefighters honored at Exchange Club dinner
Bucky Bowen said it is easy to sit up and take notice, what is difficult is to stand up and take action, as he gave opening remarks during the Corning Exchange Club Police and Firefighters Awards Dinner on Saturday.
"This evening we are recognizing some individuals who stood up and took action. We are acknowledging their enthusiasm, their commitment and their hard work," Bowen said to the packed crowd at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Corning.
The annual event honored men and women from nine public safety agencies in Tehama County, each agency presenting at least one award to either a firefighter, dispatcher, investigator, police officer, cadet, or civil employee.
Once again the annual dinner's Mistress of Ceremonies was newscaster Linda Watkins-Bennet. Linda Davis sang the National Anthem and dinner was prepared and served by the Exchange Club.
A special honor was given to the family of Russell Demo, a 37-year veteran volunteer firefighter for the Corning Fire Department, who passed away on March 22. The recipient of this year's Corning Fire Department Fireman of the Year, was volunteer firefighter Dave Linnet.
When presenting the award, Fire Chief Martin Spannaus said through the department's 100 year history more than 350 people have stepped forward to help their neighbors and community.
"Corning Fire's Fireman of the Year continues that tradition of giving back to the community," he said. "He responds to calls day or night and is always asking questions and willing to do what needs to be done around the hall and in trainings," he said.
Spannaus also presented his department's Dispatcher of the Year, award to recipient Rocky Peterson, who has served as a dispatcher for three years.
"Our dispatchers take care of everything from station maintenance to record keeping, making sure the equipment is always ready in addition to taking call information for 9-1-1, public information and burns days, no only for Corning Fire but also Capay and Orland Fire," Spannaus stated.
He said Peterson does all that, and does it well, in addition to responding to emergency calls as a volunteer firefighter on his days off.
Corning Police Officer Justin Jourdan was the recipient of the department's Officer of the Year, presented by Sgt. Don Atkins, who said, "He was picked as Officer of the Year due to his dedication not only to the department, but to the citizens of Corning as well. You will not find a more devoted or harder worker than Justin."
The sergeant said that in the three years Jourdan has worked at the police department, he has been recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his dedication in removing drunk drivers from the streets.
The police department also recognized Police Cadet Juan Martinez with the Cadet of the Year award.
Martinez was presented the award by Cadet Program Supervisor Sgt. Jeremiah Fears, who said, "He joined the program two years ago and since that time while dedicating more than 147 hours to the cadet program, he has held a full-time job at Corning Ford while going to school full-time at Butte College, where he will be attending the Law Enforcement Academy next year. Juan is an asset to the program and to the community."
The department recognized Shelley Keener, who was unable to attend the dinner, as the Dispatcher of the Year.
Tehama County Correctional Officer Christine Farmer was presented the Tehama County Sheriff's Department Officer of the Year, by Sheriff Dave Hencratt.
"Officer Farmer is a well rounded employee, who can be counted on in every aspect of her job and is willing to go that extra distance needed to complete her job assignments," Hencratt said. "I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with her and proud to say that she is a Tehama County Sheriff's employee."
Corning Rural Fire Department Chief Jim Allen presented the Firefighter of the Year award to Warren Price, a volunteer for 22 years.
"This selection was made by the department as a whole. He is my right-hand man and is always ready and able to do whatever is asked of him," Allen said.
California Highway Patrol Red Bluff Office Officer of the Year went to Ken Reineman.
In presenting the award, Lt. Todd Garr said, "As a special duty officer, one of his main duties is accident review. Since he began in this position he has helped the Red Bluff Area meet its Strategic Plan goals. Because of Ken, our area has 100 percent completion rate for its accident investigations within the eight day period."
In speaking of all of Reineman's duties, Garr said he carries them out in an exemplary manner resolving issues quickly and confidently.
Garr also presented his office's Civilian Employee of the Year award to Kim Smith, who he said "always has a positive attitude and exemplary work ethic. Kim's hard work makes the Red Bluff Area the envy of many other CHP offices."
Tehama County District Attorney Gregg Cohen presented the "Investigator of the Year" award to Investigator Walt Rhodes.
"He has been in law enforcement for 29 years," Cohen said. "He has covered everything the office has to cover and has proven to be the 'go to' guy. I am extremely proud to have worked with him and appreciate his deep commitment to the job."
CalFire and Tehama County Fire Department recognized Matt Chamblin as the CA Fire Career Firefighter of the Year, and Walt Williams as the T.C. Fire Dept. Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.
Red Bluff Police Chief Paul Nanfito named Officer Heather Vance as Officer of the Year and Jane Hoover as Dispatcher of the Year.
Reserve Firefighter Lesleigh McLeod was the recipient of the Red Bluff Fire Department Firefighter of the Year and Sherryl Arend the Administrative Employee of the Year. Both awards were presented by Fire Chief Michael Bachmeyer.