Veteran volunteer firemen are given tributes at banquet

By Ronald MacArthur

It was a night to pay tribute to some veterans of the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department during the annual banquet on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Seaford Fire Hall. The theme of the banquet was “Mardi Gras.” Doug Butler, who has been in the department for 23 years, was named EMT-B of the Year and received the first City of Seaford Volunteer of the Year Award. Ron Marvel, who has been in the department for 32 years, was named Fireman of the Year. Marvel was also emcee for the evening. Speaking about Doug Butler, Seaford Mayor Danny Short said,“He is the epitome of what a volunteer is.” The mayor went on to say that Butler has made about 3,000 ambulance runs which totals about 210,000 minutes of volunteer time; or 3,515 hours, not counting training and other department functions and fires; or 439 working days on an ambulance or in the hospital answering the call of duty. “That comes out to one year and 10 months during his 23 years,” Short said. “That is without pay, no time off and no vacations. He has always been near the top in responders - he is an example to others in the department.” Butler, who is the chief of the department, was the top responder to ambulance calls in 2004, going on 201. He has been among the top five responders all of his career. Ron Marvel, who joined the SVFD in 1972, has been active for the past 32 years in a variety of offices in the SVFD as well as offices at the county and state level. He has served as chief and has been president of the Sussex County Fire Chiefs Association and was instrumental in the establishment of the Seaford Fire Museum in downtown Seaford. He and his brother, Ric, have been strong supporters of the annual benefit softball tournament. He is a lifetime member of the department. Steve Lankford and Wayne Rigby, the current president of the department, were inducted into membership as life members after 25 years of service. Other life members include Bill Bennett, Jay Blocker, Barry Calhoun, Earl Conaway, Ron Cummings, Ric Marvel, Jim Mitchell, Randy O’Bier, Wes Short, Wayne Truitt, Ken Tull, Sr., Mike Vincent, Spuck Bennett, John Botdorf, Dick Collison, Greg Cramer, Irv Fields, Art Marvel, Ron Marvel, Jim Monaco, Ben Patterson, Danny Short, Rhea Shannon, Don Tull, Roland Tyndall, Jehu Warrington and Craig Walls. Linda Russell, president of the ladies auxiliary, presented the department with a check for $18,000 and in turn, Wayne Rigby, president, and Doug Butler, chief, presented the auxiliary with a new gas range and hood for the fire hall kitchen.
Rigby and Butler presented several other awards to: John Stevenson, the past president’s pin and gavel; Ken Tull, Sr. for his service as president of the Sussex County Fire Police Association; David Morean, who does a lot of volunteer work for the department; Ron MacArthur, who is retiring from the Seaford City Council after 15 years; and Kevin Brown, who has chaired the department’s Train and Toy Show for 11 years (and raised $30,000). This year’s event takes place on Saturday, Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is $3 and children under 12 accompanied by an adult are admitted free. The top 20 responders for alarms in 2004 were: 1. Ken Tull, Sr. (391); 2. Byron Taylor (379); 3. Ron Marvel (355); 4. Tom Lecates (342); 5. Ben Hastings (336); 6. Doug Butler (299); 7. Mike Evans (296); 8. Barry Calhoun (294); 9. Earl Conaway (291); 10. J.C. Willin (284); 11. Ed Hurley (284); 12. John Stevenson (262); 13. John Botdorf (244); 14. Rich Toulson (242); 15. Boyd Taylor (238); 16. Ric Marvel (232); 17. Francis Passwaters (231); 18. Greg Reed (228); 19. Brad Taylor (227); 20. Scot Lloyd (225). The top 10 EMT-B responders for ambulance runs in 2004 were: 1. Doug Butler (201); 2. Mike Vincent (115); 3. Pat French (107); 4. Rich Toulson (65); 5. Greg Bell (64); 6. Wayne Rigby (63); 7. Valerie Roth (56); 8. Shane Kiser (53); 9. John Stevenson (52); 10. Troy Purse (51). The top 10 non-EMT responders for ambulance runs are as follows: 1. Curt Purse (84); 2. Scot Lloyd (68); 3. Mike Moore (65); 4. Brian Truitt (56); 5. Ed Hurley (54); 6. Boyd Taylor (53); 7. Greg Reed (43); 8. Clay Amidon (41); 9. Ben Hastings (40); 10. K.C. Tull (38). In 2004, the members of the SVFD responded to 488 fire and rescue alarms for a total of 323 inservice hours and a total of 7,890 man hours, traveling 2,351 miles. The department also had 2,012 ambulance runs with a total of 2,925 man hours and 11,940 miles traveled. The SVFD executive board is comprised of the following: Wayne Rigby, president; Craig Walls, vice president; Mike Evans, secretary; Ken Tull, treasurer; Doug Butler, chief; Tom Lecates, deputy chief; Mark O’Bier, first assistant chief; Curt Purse, second assistant chief; Byron Taylor, chief engineer; Mike Vincent, ambulance captain. The SVFD ladies auxiliary officers are as follows: Linda Russell, president; Margie Clayton, vice president; Betty Truitt, secretary; Carolyn Calhoun, treasurer; Isabel Stevenson, assistant secretary; Charlotte Wheatley, assistant treasurer; Ginni Tice-Adams, Chris O’Bier and Lisa Fell, board of directors. n Photos - pages 12, 13, 14.

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