First responders honored during annual banquetPublished 4:30pm Saturday, April 13, 2013
Those who risk their lives in emergency situations — our first responders — filled the Old National Guard Armory Friday night to enjoy the second annual First Responders Banquet.
Members from several city and county agencies including CARE Ambulance, volunteer fire departments and police departments were honored at the banquet for their diligent service to Selma and Dallas County.
Selma Fire Department Chief Stokes, who came up with the idea for the first banquet, said everyone in attendance deserved recognition for their hard work and dedication.
“This is a great opportunity to get all of our first responders in one place so when they’re on the scene at an emergency, they know each other,” Stokes said. “They’ll recognize each other as first responders.”
Stokes said there are about 750 first responders in Dallas County — and most are volunteers or receive little pay for what they do.
“These are the people that at 2 a.m. in the morning and a tree falls down on your home, they’re coming out to take care of you,” Stokes said.
And while many first responders received an award for the time they give, one responder was honored with the responder of the year title, and that was Alan Dailey of the Selma-Dallas County Rescue Squad.
Dailey, who joined the rescue squad at age 18, has been serving Dallas County for 38 years. After receiving the award, which will be on display at City Hall until next year’s banquet, Dailey said he couldn’t believe he was chosen.
“I wasn’t expecting this. This was a total surprise and I’m very honored,” Dailey said. “It’s been a lifelong goal of mine to just help people and I’m truly honored by my peers to receive this.”
Rhonda Abbott, Dallas County EMA director, said it’s important that first responders like Dailey are recognized because if it weren’t for their hard work, “Dallas County would not be as safe.”
“I’m not a responder, so I wanted this banquet to be special for all these people because they’re out there every single day and they’re the ones doing the job,” Abbott said. “They’re so dedicated in what they do.”