The Honorable Mayor Graham Richard and Fort Wayne Fire Department (FWFD) Chief Tim Davie honored firefighters and other local heroes Wednesday night, March 28, during the FWFD Service Awards at the City Council Chambers of the City County Building. FWFD presented its first Retiree of the Year Award posthumously to Edward Mahrt who died in late December 2006. Mahrt retired from the department in 1995 and had served on the board of directors for both the Firefighters Museum and the Fire Police City County Federal Union. Linda Mahrt accepted the award on his behalf along with several members of their family.
Firefighters honored with Meritorious Service Awards at the ceremony include Captain Ron Hamm who helped rescue an injured individual trapped in a burning car following a crash in January, 2005. Firefighter James Lemmel prevented water from reaching a magnesium fire in April, 2005, that might have caused an explosion.
Pam Wolfe, a part-time civilian employee at the Survive Alive House at Safety Village was presented with a Community Service Award for going above and beyond in working with the building sponsors at Safety Village and future classroom/office construction at the site.
Lutheran Health Network received a Corporate Meritorious Service Award for providing a grant and working with FWFD to provide fire and burn prevention safety information in multiple languages. Parkview YMCA was presented with an Organizational Meritorious Service Award when several of its staff members and a member responded when a member suffered a heart attack at the facility in May, 2006. An automatic external defibrillator was used as well as rescue breathing to help the individual's heart start again and regain breathing. Receiving a Community Service Award were Parkview YMCA's Clint Kugler, executive director, Kelly Alger, Denise Hamed and Carla Wearley, as well as YMCA member William Hardy.
Also honored with a Community Service Award were Mark Augsburger, Teresa King and Anthony Steele who witnessed and responded to a vehicle crash in which the mother was seriously injured and trapped in the car while one of her children died from injuries sustained in the crash.
The firefighter who nominated the last three honorees used a phrase that can be attributed to all of the honorees in writing, "They unselfishly chose to participate in" the events for which they were honored. The City of Fort Wayne thanked them for choosing to put others first.