Rutherford County Fire & Rescue Hosts Inaugural Awards Ceremony

Dec 15, 2021 at 11:02 am by WGNS

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Rutherford County, TN—(December 15, 2021) Rutherford County Fire Rescue (RCFR) held its first annual awards ceremony on Saturday, December 11 in Rockvale High School’s auditorium. (Click the photo above this article to see more photos)

Members of  Command Staff along with Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron and Public Safety Committee Chair/Commissioner Pettus Read were led on stage by a member of Nashville Firefighters Pipes and Drums, followed by the presentation of colors from the Rockvale Junior ROTC program.

An invocation was given by RCFR Chaplain Dallas McLemore with Assistant Chief Joshua Sanders welcoming the crowd and introducing Chief Larry Farley to deliver a recap of RCFR’s past year. Chief Farley’s recap detailed a host of incidents including a fatal fire and the Percy Priest Plane Crash that killed seven, and also briefed the crowd on several new programs and promotions for the department.

Mayor Ketron and Public Safety Chair Read addressed the audience and both spoke very highly of the men and women representing RCFR with Read saying, “as goes Rutherford County, so goes the state,” maintaining that Rutherford sets the gold standard for public safety in the state.

Because the ceremony was the first of its kind for the department, several members were recognized for their dedicated years of service and many recent promotions were also honored with family members pinning their loved ones, a long-standing tradition in the fire service.

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RCFR Awards Continued...

Years of Service Award Recipients


40 Years: Support Member Harold Douglas

• 30 years: Firefighter Gary Hutchinson

• 25 years: Captain Adam Rose and Specialist Jason Reynolds

• 20 years: Training Coordinator Paula Todd and Support Member Joey Godwin

• 15 years: Lieutenant Patrick Ashworth, Lieutenant Aaron Knapp, Lieutenant Doug Roell, Engineer Craig Landschoot, Support Member Dr. Jeremy Crook

• 10 years: Chief Larry Farley, Captain Andy Haston, Lieutenant Tyler Benefield, Lieutenant Philip Nichols, Specialist Frank Greene, Specialist Bradley Matthews, Specialist Dallas McLemore, Specialist Cody Smith, Engineer Matthew Stevens, Firefighter Kimberly Isham

• 5 years: Assistant Chief Joshua Sanders, Captain John Ingle, Lieutenant Chad Alexander, Lieutenant Daniel Alexander, Lieutenant Bret Miles, Lieutenant Chris Molder, Lieutenant Brian Stoll, Lieutenant Brandon Young, Engineer Austin Garner, Engineer Jacob Hill, Engineer Matthew Homer, Engineer Cameron Jacobs, Engineer Tyler Ruiz, Engineer Jay Turner, Firefighter Aaron Brooks, Firefighter Matthew Henry, Firefighter Austin Hill, and Firefighter Hunter Young.

Promotions/Pinnings

Command Staff Promotions: Assistant Chief Joshua Sanders and Captain Andy Haston

Lieutenant Promotions: Lieutenants Chad Alexander, Daniels Alexander, Tyler Benefield, Bret Miles, Philip Nichols, Doug Roell, Brian Stoll, and Brandon Young

Engineer Promotions: Engineers Austin Garner, Cameron Jacobs, Tyler Ruiz, Bubba Steele, Matthew Stevens, Lora Stover, and Jay Turner

Following recognition of years of service and promotions, personnel were presented with awards for a variety of other achievements.

Award categories and the recipients were:

- Administrative Staff of the Year: Marrissa Morales
- Firefighter of the Year: Firefighter Austin Hill
- Officer of the Year: Lieutenant Philip Nichols
- Volunteer of the Year: Engineer Matthew Homer
- Stork Award: Lieutenant Doug Roell, Engineer Dalton Piercy, Firefighter Tyler Alderfer and Firefighter Nate Walden
- Exemplary Service Award: FF Dallas McLemore

Unit Citation for Valorous Conduct: Chief Larry Farley, Assistant Chief Joshua Sanders, Captains Adam Rose and John Ingle, Public Information Officer Ashley McDonald, Lieutenants Tyler Benefield, Daniel Alexander, and Philip Nichols, Engineers Dalton Piercy, Austin Garner, Matthew Stevens, Bubba Steele, Tyler Ruiz, and Firefighters Cole Bennett, Tyler Alderfer, J.R. Bolen, Jeffrey Walden, Bradley Matthews, Matthew Henry, Jason Reynolds, Hunter Martin, Brandon Folds, Chris Llanes, Dallas McLemore, Jerrod Clanton, Hunter Young, John Sympson, Austin Hill, and Cody Smith

Chief’s Award: Lieutenant Aaron Knapp

“I cannot begin to express how proud I am of our department,” said Chief Farley. “We have a tremendous team, and I think that is evidenced by the number of awards distributed at this event.”

Master of Ceremonies Marrissa Morales mentioned that the event would not have been possible without help or donations from Rockvale High School Theatre and JROTC departments, Mission BBQ, Walmart- New Salem, Kroger- S. Church, EVS, Nashville Firefighters Pipes and Drums, and Commissioner Pettus Read.

“We look forward to more ceremonies like this,” stated Farley, “and other opportunities to honor the skilled, knowledgeable, and compassionate men and women that serve our community with dedication and professionalism even though most will say they are ‘just doing their job’.”

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