|Volunteer firefighter ‘exemplifies love thy neighbor’|
Staff Photo by Stacey Hairston:
Spike Pugh (front row, center) accepted an award from Del. Charles Poindexter for his 64 years of service to the RMVFD. He is joined by members of the department.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
By STACEY HAIRSTON - Staff Writer
Volunteer firefighter Burton "Spike" Pugh was honored Friday night for his 64 years of service during the Rocky Mount Volunteer Fire Department's annual dinner and awards ceremony.
The award was presented to Pugh by Del. Charles Poindexter, who said that Pugh "exemplifies love thy neighbor as thyself."
"The citizens of this town and county owe you a great deal, and we all are appreciative of what you've done," Poindexter told Pugh.
Pugh's daughters Cynthia Barrett and husband, Terrill, and Sheila Pugh were guests at the dinner.
Pugh was honored in 2009 for 60 years of service with a plaque from the department, a resolution from town council and a key to the town. At that time, council also designated Feb. 20 as Spike Pugh Day.
"I am very proud of our organization," said Fire Chief Charlie Robertson during the dinner. "We have a tremendous brotherhood, and we are all very lucky to have such dedicated people here in the county. These guys are getting up at all hours of the day and night to serve the community."
Robertson also praised the department's response and reaction time to calls.
"We have an average reaction time of four minutes and an average response time of eight to nine minutes," he said.
During the ceremony, various other awards were presented.
Jeff Rakes was honored with a plaque for his 10 years of service.
Theodore Hodges received one of two "Fireman of the Year" awards. He also received an award for having the best attitude.
Butch Wilcox received the other "Fireman of the Year" award, as well as an award for "Best Truck Operator."
Jody Whitt and Jeff Rakes tied for the "Entryman of the Year" award.
Tommy Davis also received an appreciation award for his service as an honorary member and "the heart of the department."
After the awards were presented, Robertson was recognized with a plaque from the entire department for his "outstanding dedication, leadership and commitment to excellence to the Rocky Mount Fire Department and to the citizens of Rocky Mount."
The Rocky Mount Volunteer Fire Department began in 1922 and is the oldest in the county.
"We are a healthy fire department," said Robertson. "We are moving forward and that's good for the community."