Hoover Fire Department recognizes promotions, retirees

Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey and Fire Chief John Wingate recognize fire/medic Michael Thorin for being named Firefighter of the Year 2014 during a March 31 ceremony. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey and Fire Chief John Wingate recognize fire/medic Michael Thorin for being named Firefighter of the Year 2014 during a March 31 ceremony. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—The Hoover Fire Department and Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey recognized promoted, retired and specially-honored members of the department during a March 31 ceremony in the Hoover Public Library Theater.

Seven members of the Fire Department were promoted during the March 31 ceremony. Mark Thornton was promoted to captain; Marc Berry, Matthew Javinett, Brian Conlee and Charles LeGrone were promoted to lieutenant; Joe More was named fire marshal; Richard Linn was promoted to senior fire inspector.

Eleven members of the department, with a combined 320 years of service, were recognized for their retirement.

Fire/medic Dennis Agnew retired after 30 years of service, Battalion Chief Frank Brocato retired after 40 years of service, firefighter Dennis Coffman retired after 32 years of service, firefighter Charles Gerald retired after 30 years of service, fire/medic John Johnson retired after 30 years of service, Captain Robert Miller retired after 24 years of service, Lieutenant Jay Purser retired after 31 years of service, Lieutenant Robin Roberts retired after 15 years of service, firefighter Stephen Scharf retired after 30 years of service, fire/medic Michael Thorin retired after six years of service and firefighter Roger Wyatt retired after 37 years of service.

“These men understood their mission and have done a fantastic job with their work, command and their leadership,” Hoover Fire Department Chief John Wingate said.

The Firefighter and Paramedic of the year were commended during the ceremony.

Decorated military veteran and described as a “go-getter” by Hoover Fire Department Executive Officer Rusty Lowe, Thorin was named the Firefighter of the Year 2014. Thorin retired from the department for medical reasons related to his military service during the Gulf War.

Fire/medic/registered nurse Wanda Morgan was honored as Paramedic of the Year 2014. She was commended for her work to become a registered nurse and efforts during the 2014 snow storm when she created “a makeshift clinic to serve patients who could not be safely transported to hospitals,” Lowe explained.

Retired Lieutenant Carl Foster was also commemorated. Foster retired from the Hoover Fire Department after 20 years of service, and “passed away in 2013 as a direct result of (an) injury suffered on the job,” Lowe said.

Before closing the ceremony, the Hoover Fire Department and the city of Hoover presented two checks, totaling $30,000, to Camp Conquest, a camp that serves pediatric burn survivors.