The Verde Valley Moose Lodge 1449 hosted its fourth annual First Responder Appreciation Dinner Jan. 20.
About 200 people attended the dinner and included agencies from fire, law enforcement, EMS, communications, Arizona Crisis Team, and search and rescue and their families.
The event started with a social hour allowing all agencies to interact under normal condition other than emergency scenes. This was followed by posting of colors - American Legion Post 135 Color Guard (Cornville), Pledge of Allegiance, and then a full-course meal and ended with award presentations. Each award was unique in their own way as the receipt performed above and beyond.
Everyone who attended appreciated the hospitably of the Moose Lodge members and felt honored to be invited. The members of the Moose Lodge once again volunteered their time planning, preparing, and serving for this annual event. Their goal is giving back to the community and this is just another example as they honored the First Responder and everyone associated and supports them to protect our communities.
The following were the attendees and recipients of awards:
• Arizona Crisis Team
• Verde Valley Fire Department: Firefighter of the Year - Ivan Anderson
• Cottonwood Fire & Medical Department: Fire Fighter of the Year - Lieutenant Jeff Boyd
• Cottonwood Police Department: Office of the Year - Sgt Gareth Braxton. Communication Specialist of the Year - Jeremy Miller
• Sedona Fire Department: Firefighter of the Year - Michael Pace
• Jerome Fire Department: EMT - Allen Muma
• Camp Verde Marshal’s Office: Deputy - Justin Reay. Dispatcher of the Year - Susan Wason (Not pictured). Dispatcher of the Year Kelsey Jacobs
• Sedona Police Department: Officer of the Year - Brandon Bergstad
• Civilian Professional - Heidi Videto. Volunteer of the Year - Mike Vitek
• Verde Search and Rescue Posse: Frank Wirkus
• Clarkdale Police Department: Sgt Troy Smith