Several men and women with Dawson County Emergency Services were recognized during the department's annual recognition and awards banquet last week.
Among the award recipients during the Nov. 19 banquet at Dawson County Middle School were two pioneers of emergency services in Dawson County.
This year's Legends Awards went to Director Billy Thurmond, who was also recognized for his 35 years of service, and Capt. Douglas Wofford, a volunteer with more than two decades on the job.
"This award is to recognize those individuals whose impact within the department has been so influential that their impact will be felt and remembered for years to come," said Chief Lanier Swafford.
"Director Thurmond has served the citizens of Dawson County his entire life and Dawson County Emergency Services is the department it is today because of his vision and leadership."
Wofford, according to Swafford, is one of the most respected leaders in the department.
"He led his station through transitioning from an all volunteer station to a combination station of career and volunteer members and assisted in the move to the new station in 2010," he said.
"He is a strong supporter of volunteers being held to the same standards as career firefighters and has worked diligently with administration to make this belief a reality."
Capt. Denny Blackwell was named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year, while Shaun Benfield was selected as Career Firefighter/EMT of the Year.
The department, along with Region 2 EMS, also recognized personnel with Lifesaving Awards.
The honorees were Eric Lindbolm, Gary Rhodus, Lincoln Hett, Cass Harris and Jeremy Grizzle with Big Canoe Public Safety and Lt. Andy Scott, Firefighter/Paramedic Tiffany Cramer and Firefighter/EMT Shane Peck with Dawson County Emergency Services.