As a Forsyth County fire captain stepped down from his career, six firefighters climbed the ranks in a promotional ceremony Friday night.
The department recognized Capt. Dwight Clark, who recently retired after nearly 54 years of service, with nearly a dozen of those in Forsyth.
Fire Chief Danny Bowman presented Clark with a golden fire ax, a symbol of the profession, as “an emblem of our feelings toward your five decades of service.”
Clark started his career in Texas in 1959 and concluded in Forsyth as a fire instructor starting in April 2001.
Bowman thanked him for his leadership in the department.
“It is with pride that I and those around me, from the time we first linked ourselves together as a band of firefighters, have watched your inspired and successful efforts to organize and build an efficient and dedicated fire department,” he said.
Clark was thrilled with the ax, which was engraved with his name, the department and the words “for your dedicated service.”
He said his best memories in Forsyth are working with his fellow firefighters.
“This department has one of the best attitudes in fire school, on the job, taking care of each other, taking care of the things that they have,” Clark said. “They are one of the most dedicated groups … that I have ever met.”
Some of those hard-working firefighters received new ranks Friday night.
Barry Head, previously a lieutenant, accepted a promotion to division chief, fire marshal.
Formerly an arson investigator, Debbie Lindstrom received the rank of deputy fire marshal.
Firefighters Jeremy Hamilton and Brian Christie each earned promotions to lieutenant.
Two equipment technicians also received promotions: Matthew Suggs to maintenance supervisor and Jack Tribble to senior vehicle equipment technician.
“Sometimes the fire trucks go limping in and they go steaming out and that’s because of you and your crew,” Bowman said.