By Ellen Simmons
Special To The Record
Members of Firelands Ambulance Service (FAS) and the New London Fire Department gathered December 13 to honor their own at the annual Safety Forces Banquet held in the Hileman Building at Recreation Park.Fire Chief John Chapin welcomed firefighters and ambulance personnel, spouses and guests, who included New London Councilman Marion Paramore and Huron County Emergency Management Agency Director Jason Roblin. Paramore said, "We appreciate all of the volunteers who give their time for the village of New London and surrounding areas. Roblin added, "Thanks for treating us like family here every year, and for all you do." FAS Coordinator Dan Bailey listed the members of the Ambulance Board, who are Paul Lortcher, representing Fitchville Township; Bill Schwinn, New London Township; Dean White, Troy Township; Matt Beattie Ruggles Township; and Bill Curtis, Village of New London Council. Reporting a total of 458 runs so far this year, Bailey said 242 were in the village, 33 in New London Township, 41 in Ruggles Township, 51 in Troy Township, 63 in Fitchville Township and 28 mutual aid calls. These numbers included 38 motor vehicle crashes, with three in the village, eight in New London Township, ten in Ruggles Township, three in Troy Township, nine in Fitchville Township and five mutual aid. Two fire standby calls were also part of the total. Two additional calls were received during the evening with volunteers in attendance responding. Bailey presented the FAS Volunteer of the Year Award to Gary Hopkins, who has been with the service for 15 years. He was one of the volunteers who had to leave early to respond to a call. The fire department answered 69 calls so far this year, according to Chapin, who broke them down into six alarms, 27 motor vehicle crashes, six EMS assists, four structure fires, two gas leaks, three grass fires, three investigations, five mutual aid, two open burns, ten service calls and one vehicle fire. He presented the Firefighter of the Year Award to Jason Anderson, who has been with the department for 17 years and last year was promoted to lieutenant. Before closing the banquet, Chapin remembered two long-time firefighters who died during the year, Pat Cassidy and King Rowland. Speaking of Cassidy who served for 38 years, he said, "He was a good man, caring about the village more than anybody can imagine." And of Rowland who served for 55 years, he said, "He loved New London and helped so many people out." Mark Roeder won the 50/50 drawing and thanked the fire department for being invited to the banquet. He was honored last year for his retirement after 25 years as a volunteer.