YOUNGSVILLE — The Youngsville Fire Department held its first installation ceremony April 2, at Faith Baptist Church in Youngsville.
A fire department installation ceremony is held traditionally to install the department’s officers and new firefighters as well as to recognize outstanding performance of members.
Retired Fire Chief Doug Carter served as the master of ceremonies, emphasizing that the event and the accomplishments of the fire department’s members was a big deal, holding up a sign that proclaimed, somewhat humorously, "This is a Big Deal!"
In a more somber tone, he reminded those in attendance, "These men and women have missed birthdays, missed holidays, lost a few nights’ sleep, and have meals left at the table cold, all to serve their community."
Retired Captain W. Tramp Dunn of the Raleigh Fire Department delivered a motivational speech, driving home the message that there is no difference in whether firefighters are paid or volunteer, or what the name says on the truck.
"The expectation of the community is that you are a professional," Dunn said.
The most moving and emotional moment came when Lieutenant Louis Dunston presented the Lifetime Membership Award to Firefighter Justin Lloyd, who is currently battling cystic fibrosis at UNC Hospitals.
His parents Tommie and Jenny Lloyd accepted the award on his behalf. Tommie Lloyd, Youngsville Fire Department Chief, expressed Justin’s appreciation for the award and told of his continued love of the Youngsville Fire Department and community.
Four firefighters, Robert Wilder, Jay Dennis, Timmy Maness and Barry Gardner, were recognized for becoming qualified driver operators of the department’s fleet of apparatus.
Youngsville Fire Department Board of Directors President Bobby Sumner led the installation ceremony and oath of office. Tommie Lloyd was installed as fire chief, with John Sumner, Justin Graney and Brandon McGhee as assistant chiefs.
Garrett Jackson, Steve Averett, David Williams and Andrew Dudash were installed as captains with Edward Eason, John Bates, Louis Dunston, Randy Privette, Clark May, Frank Ayscue and Jonathan Collins installed as lieutenants.
Jay Dennis was installed as safety officer and and Chris Weier, Aaron Cashwell, Ben Meyer, Ben Learned and Bruce Carper were installed as firefighters.