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Hammond Fire honors its members

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HAMMOND – Family and friends of the Hammond Volunteer Fire Department gathered Saturday to salute its members’ achievements over the last year.

At the banquet, held at the Gran-View Restaurant, Ogdensburg, several firefighters received awards for their service in 2013.

Rick Bass Jr. received the Fran Boland Award for his “above and beyond dedication” to the fire department, Mr. Bass said.

The award is given each year in honor of Mr. Boland, a department member who died suddenly in 2001 at age 30.

“We do this in memory of him,” Chief Jon B. Bass said. “He was a great fireman. He stood out. He had a lot of fun. He was always enthusiastic, very hard working and put a lot of work for the short time he was member.”

Chief’s Awards went to Steve Trenton and Lenord D. Bickelhaupt.

“These two gentlemen stepped up a great deal to get things done,” Mr. Bass said. “I’m really thankful for their efforts.”

Mr. Trenton, Mr. Bass said, was instrumental in securing a $100,463 grant from the U.S. Department Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency for new turnout gear.

According to state regulations, firefighter turn-out gear must be replaced every 10 years.

Hammond Fire and Rescue officials feared the department could not come up with the money before its gear’s expiration date this year.

Gear for each firefighter costs between $3,600 to $4,000, Mr. Bass said.

There are 45 firefighters in the department.

“It was real important to us,” Mr. Bass said. “It was tremendous not having to find that money somewhere or raising the taxes.”

The 10 years of service award went to Josh Hirsch.

Emergency Technician Captain Denise Norstrom was awarded EMT of the Year.

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