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Bamberg Fire Department Banquet Print E-mail
Written by Mallory D. Biering   

The annual banquet for the Bamberg Fire Department was hosted at the Bamberg First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall on Thursday, January 17th, where the Bamberg Firefighters and their guests were shown appreciation for the work they do in Bamberg.

The banquet, which was by invitation, included a dinner catered by Blaz n Buz Catering Company, LLC, which was blessed by Dwight Brazell, Pastor of Word of Life. After the meal of pork loin, green beans and more were enjoyed, Charity Sandifer, wife of Firefighter Chris Sandifer, did a version of, "You're a firefighter's wife if..." and read a poem titled, "I've Seen the Angels Cry," before turning the podium over to Mayor Alton McCollum.

McCollum welcomed those in attendance and then said to the firefighters, "Thank you so much for your dedicated service in Bamberg County." McCollum later added he was, "Certainly proud to stand before these firefighters and their wives. We thank them for their dedication, because without them we would have many disasters."

After McCollum encouraged the firefighters to "keep on keepin' on," Chief Timmie Taylor presented the top ten firefighters with awards for their services to the department. Taylor read off the following names with the number of responded calls: Anthony Haddock (137), Paul Sandifer (131), Obie Williams (121), Phil Meyers (95), Stephen Hughes (89), Steve Barton (87), Jay Wayne Smith (79), Jonathan Winningham (77), Chris Sandifer (69), and James Fisher (45).

Taylor also recognized Explorer Michael Fisher with a certificate of appreciation and outstanding accomplishment for service at the Bamberg Fire Department for the year 2012.

Sandifer provided the 2012 yearly report of city and rural fire calls which included: 34 structure fires, 9 vehicle fires, 14 grass/woods fires, 36 fire alarms, 29 assist to rescue calls, 24 other types of fires/calls, and 22 meetings or training sessions.

At the end of the ceremony, Brazell led the audience in reciting the, "Firefighter's Prayer." The fire fighters seemed to stand taller as the words, "When I am called to duty, God, Wherever flames may rage, Give me the strength to save some life, Whatever be its age," sounded throughout the room, leaving a sense of strength and pride.

Taylor said, "We do this [banquet] for the wives and the firefighters," to show our appreciation for what they do for the community. Adding, "I'm proud of our fire department, we have a good fire department, and I just like to thank them all for being on our fire department."

Honorary Members of the Bamberg Fire Department (with the year of retirement) include: Herb West (1987), Mike Brown (1988), Fred Hiers (1988), Glen Barton (1993), Jimmy Kinard (1988), Carl Kilgus (1998), Billy Drawdy (2000), Bill Kilgus (2006), Willard Sandifer (2007), and Buddy Sandifer (2008).

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