The following people were recognized with valor awards, service pins.
Pediatric Lifesaving Award
20-year service pins
30-year service pins
5-year service pins
35-year service pins
Jackie Townley was 15-years-old when he fought his first fire.
“I was so short and skinny that my jacket hung all the way down to my knees,” he said Monday, recalling the early days of Dawson County Emergency Services. “Some of the guys today wouldn’t even be able to imagine what we had to deal with back then.”
Fire fighting was a lot different in the 1970s in Dawson County.
“We didn’t even get radios until the ‘80s. If there was a fire, whoever got to the station first wrote where we were at on the chalk board for everybody else,” said Townley, who along with several members of his family formed the Liberty Fire Department in 1975.
Townley was one of four pioneers of Dawson County Emergency Services to receive lifetime achievement awards Friday night during the department’s annual banquet.
Also honored were Ralph Maddox, who ran the county’s ambulance service dating back to the 1940s, former EMA Director and Interim Chief David Stowers, and C.B. Martin, a founding member of the Kilough Fire Department.
“This year’s recipients represent an elite group of men,” said Lanier Swafford, chief of emergency services. “Their service reaches back long before any organized county effort existed and was not limited to the fire department or ambulance service. These men truly served this community they loved and called home.”
Townley, who thought he was receiving his 35-year pin from the department, said he was honored by the recognition.
“I’ve seen this county come a long way. From running ambulances out of the funeral home to now having eight stations across the county and being able to provide great service to the county with great equipment,” Townley said. “I’ve enjoyed it a whole lot. It’s been great.”