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First responders recognized for service
6. DCES Awards Banquet pic1
Dawson County Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford thanks Director Billy Thurmond, who is retiring on Friday, for his 35 years of service. - photo by For the Dawson County News

A recent awards ceremony allowed Dawson County Emergency Services to pay tribute to personnel who went above and beyond in their service during 2015.

"Friday evening was an opportunity to recognize the department for their efforts during the year and to showcase those who exceled in their duties," said Chief Lanier Swafford of the Nov. 20 event at Dawson County Middle School.

Among those awarded were two men, that while injured themselves, rendered aid to a young woman who was involved in a collision with their fire engine on Oct. 20.

Firefighter/EMT Tim Pastore and Firefighter Eli Kesting were recognized with the department's Valor Awards.

"The young lady involved in the accident, Olivia Webb, and her family, were on hand to assist in presenting these awards," Swafford said.

Merit commendations were also given to James Free, David Allen and Mike Baumgartner.

Pastore was also named the department's employee of the year, along with Volunteer of the Year Firefighter Matthew Satterfield.

Additionally, each year, the department pays tribute to individuals who helped shaped emergency services in Dawson County.

The Legends Award shines a spotlight on individuals whose contributions to local emergency services through the years will go down as legendary, according to officials.

Considered pioneers of the trade, this year's Legends Awards were presented to Greg Rowan, former chief and now a major with the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, and Firefighter/EMT Tim Stowers.

In a touching tribute, several familiar faces were in attendance to salute Director Billy Thurmond, who is retiring on Friday after 35 years of service to the department.