Jerry Van Natta, left, and Lynn Reasoner, right, congratulate outgoing MWVFD Chief Joel Thompson.
Jerry Van Natta, left, and Lynn Reasoner, right, congratulate outgoing MWVFD Chief Joel Thompson. (Mark Engebretson)
The Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department held its annual awards banquet Monday, an event that recognized not only the firefighters, but also those in the community who supported the department during the previous year. The climax of the evening was the naming of the 2013 Firefighter of the Year - William Eudy. Eudy was also named firefighter of the third quarter. "William joined the department in 2005, having served most of that time as our chaplain," said Lynn Reasoner, MWVFD first assistant chief. "William became certified in critical incident stress management and helped to form our critical incident stress management team." Reasoner also said he is a certified firefighter and has received his instructor certification.
Firefighters of the quarter are, right to left, Monty Parker Sr., firefighter of the first quarter; Chance Reasoner, second quarter, William Eudy, third
Firefighters of the quarter are, right to left, Monty Parker Sr., firefighter of the first quarter; Chance Reasoner, second quarter, William Eudy, third quarter; and K.J. Van Natta, fourth quarter. (Mark Engebretson)
Eudy was among the firefighters of the first through fourth quarters of 2013. Those named were Monty Parker Sr., firefighter of the first quarter; Chance Reasoner, second quarter, Eudy, third quarter; and K.J. Van Natta, fourth quarter. District 60 State Rep. Jim Keffer was the featured speaker of the evening. "It's a privilege to be here," he began. "When we first moved to Eastland, the first people who came by to visit with me were people from the Eastland Volunteer Fire Department. It was genuinely heartfelt gratitude that they came out." Keffer said he worked a lot with Steve Perdue, who wanted more support from the state for volunteer fire departments. "Steve Perdue was a visionary," he added. "He made sure I was at the schools at Mineral Wells. I put on the bunker gear and went into a burning house." The state representative also stressed the importance of maintaining visibility for rural Texas and the VFDs. "Ninety percent of the fires are rural," he said. "In rural Texas we have the census, populations are gravitating to the cities." He added that Houston has more state representatives than West Texas. "Fortunately, they don't get along," said Keffer. "We need to continue the gallant fight, we have to continue to go forward," he urged. "As long as I'm in the Legislature, you have a friend. "We have a great story to tell and we need to tell it." A number of people were recognized during the evening. Officers: Monte Parker Sr., fire chief; Lynn Reasoner, first assistant chief; Jerry Van Natta, second assistant chief; Carla Hay Perdue, secretary; Danny Earl, treasurer; James Brooks, captain, Company 1; Chayla Reasoner, lieutenant, Company 1; William Eudy, captain, Company 2; Danny Earl, lieutenant, Company 2; K.J. Van Natta, captain Company 3; and Monte Parker Jr., lieutenant, Company 3. Service pins: Chayla Reasoner, 10 years; Robert Coker, 15 years; Lynn Reasoner, 20 years; and Jerry Van Natta, 40 years. Texas A&M guest instructors: Lynn Reasoner, Joel Thompson, Clark Gregg, K.
Among the MWVFD firefighters attending the awards banquet are, left to right, James Israel, James Brooks, Brian Wright. Monty Parker Jr. with Mascot
Among the MWVFD firefighters attending the awards banquet are, left to right, James Israel, James Brooks, Brian Wright. Monty Parker Jr. with Mascot Kirsten Parker, K.J. Van Natta, Chance Reasoner and Chayla Reasoner. (Mark Engebretson)
J. Van Natta, Jim Murray, Danny Earl and Monty Parker Jr. Mascot: Outgoing 2013 Mascot, Jacob Sommers; 2014 Mascot, Kirsten Parker. Business partners: Holiday Inn Express; Mineral Wells Rent-All, Chadwell and Sons from Springtown, and Regina and Strawberry Jordan. Also recognized was Joel Thompson. He joined the department in 1993 and was the fire chief in 2013.