The Rockville Chamber of Commerce honored several RVFD volunteers at their annual Public Safety Awards ceremony held on Wednesday June 8, 2022. The award ceremony, now in its 33rd years, recognizes the outstanding achievements by the members of the public safety agencies based in the City of Rockville, which include RVFD, Rockville City Police, Montgomery County Sheriffs and Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.
RVFD volunteers who were honored were:
Distinguished Service Citation – Master Medical Attendant Albert Tang and Master Medical Attendant Kokou Kekeli Israel Ahama
These RVFD volunteers answered the call on January 6, 2021 to provide staffing for Ambulance 703B when the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Dept. became overwhelmed due to the events at the US Capitol building. A703B responded to the Capitol and the crew operated inside the Capitol building to assist with triage, treatment and transport of injured police officers.
Distinguished Service Citation – Lt. Casey King, Master Medical Attendant Casandra Hedetniemi, Firefighter Ramin Rahimi and Firefighter Martin Liddy
The remnants of Hurricane Ida were passing through Rockville on September 1, 2021, which brought heavy rains to the area. Two of the buildings at the Rock Creek Woods Apartments on Twinbrook Pkwy., which are located in a low-lying area, began to flood. The RVFD personnel, responding on Aerial Tower 703, assisted with the rescue efforts along with multiple other units. The crew removed chain link fencing to enable access, rescued occupants from the rising flood waters, cut holes in the floors of 2nd level apartments to gain access to 1st level apartments and assisted with occupant accountability.
Meritorious Service Citation – Lt. Christopher Hallock, Firefighter III Arash Kamali and Firefighter II Ben Chen
RVFD members have a minimum on-duty standby requirement of 600 hours per year. In 2021 RVFD members provided 101,833 on-duty standby hours. Many members go beyond the minimum requirement. The three firefighters recognized provide much more than the required amount. For a reference, the standard 40-hour work week amounts to 2,080 hours per year.
- Lt. Hallock – 2,629 hours
- FFII Chen – 2,500 hours
- FFIII Kamali – 2,278 hours
Meritorious Service Citation – Past RVFD President Guy Poirier
This award recognizes those who deserve acknowledgement for a duty or task that falls above the normal scope of their role and could easily have gone undone or unnoticed. Any organization with a long history has a difficult time keeping track of the people and events of the past. With over 100 years of history, the RVFD archives are full of documents and photos. Guy Poirier diligently catalogues those items and almost daily posts photos on the private RVFD Archives Facebook page, where members and former members can relive the memories of the past.
Lifetime Achievement Award – Chief William Alan Hinde (deceased) and Chief Scott E. Emmons (deceased)
The year 2021 was a particularly difficult one for RVFD with the sudden passing of Deputy Chief (and past Chief) Scott Emmons in February and Board of Directors member (and past Chief) Alan Hinde two weeks later. Both were integral to the operations and success of the RVFD during their time at RVFD and both were actively involved with RVFD at the time of their passing.
Chief Hinde joined RVFD in 1974 and rose in the ranks to become Fire Chief. He worked for Washington Gas, retiring as section head of safety and compliance. After his retirement, he began a second career as the Division Chief for Volunteer Services with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.
Chief Emmons, who joined RVFD in 1991, was a detective with the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department where he was assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
Both chiefs received numerous awards and citations during their tenure at RVFD. They were leaders, mentors and friends who helped make the RVFD into the highly professional lifesaving organization it is today. They will be sorely missed. Although they are gone now, their legacy continues. Chief Hinde’s son Christopher is an RVFD deputy chief and works at the District of Columbia Fire and EMS Department. Chief Emmons’ daughter Emily is a firefighter/EMT at RVFD and is attending college.