Chelsea Fire honors its own
By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer
CHELSEA – Chelsea Fire and Rescue honored incoming and retiring firefighters during the Chelsea City Council meeting Sept. 18.
Two young former Chelsea Explorers recently completed recruit training school, Fire Chief Wayne Shirley said.
Hampton Vinoski joined Chelsea Fire and Rescue in November 2009, and was named Explorer of the Year in 2010. After graduating from high school in May, Vinoski attended recruit school in Birmingham, and now fills in as paid staff for the Chelsea fire station, Shirley said.
Joel Pugh also graduated from high school in May, and he started recruit school in Gulf Shores.
“He represented Chelsea well in that school,” Shirley said.
Two older members of Chelsea Fire and Rescue were honored for their years of service.
Phillip Bennett joined the department in 2001. He retired recently when his fight with throat cancer took a turn for the worse, Shirley said.
“He is a good friend to a lot of us,” Shirley said of Bennett. “He really was dedicated to our community.”
Deputy Chief Dave Corn’s retirement will take affect Oct. 1.
“In high school, he joined the Navy,” Shirley said of Corn. “He’s had a servant’s heart since he was a young fellow.
“He has been an asset and right hand to me,” he added. “He has been doing it for the right reasons because he’s got a servant’s heart.”
Corn simply thanked the rows of firefighters who sat through the City Council meeting.
“I want to thank those guys back there, my brothers back there, for being so dedicated and loyal,” Corn said.
In other business, the council also:
-Declared Oct. 19 as Black Out Breast Cancer Day in the city of Chelsea.
-Declared September as National Recovery Month in Chelsea.
-Passed a resolution to authorize a change order for the installation of lights at the Chelsea High School football field. The city will pay S&G Waldrop Electric $520 to cover cost of additional equipment.
“The lights will be ready for the next home football game to park cars down there,” Mayor Earl Niven said.