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Firefighters awarded, promoted at swearing-in ceremony
New Firefighters
Daniel Clausen, Miguel Garcia-Carreras, Zakary Holbrook and Mark Watson, the four new Forsyth County probationary firefighters stand before a crowd of people ready to be sworn-in to their new position. - photo by Alexander Popp

Forsyth County Fire Department employees gathered Thursday at the Central Park Recreation Center to celebrate and honor dozens of firefighters and emergency services personnel receiving awards and promotions, and witness the swearing in of four new Forsyth County probationary firefighters.

Division Chief Jason Shivers announced the awardees, discussed with the crowd of friends and families the circumstances of each award and explained why each person was chosen for promotion.

The bulk of the awards given out Thursday night were for personnel and companies involved in saving a life while in the line of duty, handed to them by the man, woman or child that was saved.

“Periodically, the Forsyth County Fire Department reviews incidents of significance that have been nominated for particular acts of heroism or actions that resulted in a life saved … this evening, we recognize four life saved awards and four unit citation awards,” Shivers said.

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Forsyth County Firefighter Randy Wright shakes hands with Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Reeves. Wright was part of the team of firefighters that helped extricate Reeves after his patrol car was struck by a drunk driver. - photo by Alexander Popp
Among those awarded were:

Lt. Josh Brown, Sgt. Bob Kaley and firefighters Chris Estrada, Matthew Johnson, Randy Wright and Anthony DiMercurio, received a unit citation award from Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Rod Reeves, who was hit and seriously injured by a DUI driver in November 2017.

Lt. Kevin O’Connell, Sgt. Stanley Moore, Lt. Josh Brown, Sgt. Clint Lively, Lt. Jarrett Jenkins, Lt. Greg Chapman, and firefighters Neil Jurceka, Christopher Estrada, Mathew Johnson, Randy Wright, Anthony DiMercurio were presented a unit citation award for freeing an entrapped passenger during Hurricane Irma in September 2017.

Lt. Jarrett Jenkins, Lt. John Weisgerber II, Sgt. Glen Everett, Sgt. Jeff Weaver received a unit citation award, Lt. Amanda Gardner and firefighters Christopher Smith and Patrick Browne received life saved award for their actions at the scene of a single vehicle wreck in December 2017.

Sgt. Billy Bean, and firefighters Helmut Fisher and James Kimbrough received life saved awards from a woman they saved with CPR and other medical techniques in December 2017.

Lt. Todd Sliger, Sgt. Billy Bean and firefighter Kevin M. Woodall received life saved awards from a former volunteer fire lieutenant from New York, who they saved in May 2017.

Sgt. Lance Leuliette, and firefighters Hanna Coleman and Robert Still received a life saved award from youngster Carter Dykes, who they helped save in May 2017 after he was found at the bottom of a swimming pool. Three other civilians, Meagan Bryne, Emily York, and Erin Jackson were given citizen life saved awards for their part in saving Dykes.

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Forsyth County firefighter Hanna Coleman gets a hug and a life saved award from youngster Carter Dykes for her part in saving his life in May 2017. - photo by Alexander Popp

After the awards ceremony, four promotions were awarded to Forsyth County Fire personnel. Deputy Fire Marshal Steve Melton Baker was raised to the rank of Division Chief Fire Marshal, Senior Fire Inspector Edward Walter Siggelkow was raised to the rank of Deputy Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector Tony Lynn Holbrook was promoted to senior fire inspector, and Sergeant Kenneth Darrell Phillips was promoted to fire lieutenant.

The event concluded with the swearing in of the department’s new provisionary firefighters. Shivers said the new firefighters were chosen out of a pool of more than 100 applicants.

The four firefighters — Daniel Clausen, Miguel Garcia-Carreras, Zakary Holbrook and Mark Watson — took the stage to repeat the fireman’s oath with Forsyth County Fire Chief Danny Bowman.

“For over 200 years, individuals have aspired for and stood in the place of these troops tonight, individuals who have accepted that never again, until the day they die, will they truly be off duty ... many will seek the position in which they stand. Few, very few, will achieve that goal,” Bowman said.