Imagine sitting down to a large Thanksgiving feast with your friends and family or attending your sonís last varsity football game or a relaxing summer barbecue, suddenly your pager goes off and you are immediately called into action.
This is the life of a volunteer firefighter. It is often times a thankless and demanding profession, requiring time away from family and putting yourself in dangerous situations to help a stranger but anyone of the 24 volunteer firefighters at the Northside Fire District will tell you that they couldnít imagine doing anything else.
On Feb. 23, these courageous men and women were honored for what they do.
The banquet took place at the Ponderay Elks Lodge, which provided a spectacular setting for the eveningís festivities. A delicious dinner was catered by Carrie, owner and operator of The View Cafť but the night belonged to the firefighters that keep northeastern Bonner County safe.
While praise was given to all of the members of the district, distinct and prestigious awards were given to those that went above and beyond.
Starting the night off was the award for Cadet of the Year, which went to Pete Hughes. A couple of members were recognized for their years of service to the district, 10 years of service: Eric Ahrens and Steve Zukus.
The award for most trainings attended went to Eric Parker in an amazing show of dedication; Tanner Wright received recognition for most call responses and was named Firefighter of the Year.
The employees added a new award this year to honor the guy who is putting in endless hours training all the new volunteers ó and that award Mentor of the Year ó went to Sean Morhy.
The night ended with a special gift presented to our active firefighters from local sponsor Cascade Rescue which was a backpack full of survival essentials/rope rescue equipment and a special gift headed up by one of our own, Debbie Borches, who had the districtís old turnouts repurposed into facemask bags.
A special thank you goes to Auto Zone, Yokes, Elks Golf Course, Papa Murphyís, McDonalds, Cascade Rescue, Rokstad Ford, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Hoot Owl, Second Ave Pizza, Babs Pizza, Co-Op, Subway, Les Schwab, McDonalds, Sweet Lous, Fiesta Bonita, South Fork Hardware, Burger King, Starbucks. These businesses provided items which were given away as door prizes. Thank you to everyone who made this night a huge success