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NMVFD Earns Ash Award For Fourth Year

By Staff | Sep 16, 2009

In the photo from left, New Martinsville Volunteer Firefighters Ben Thomas, Mike Smith and Eric Smith display the Gail Ash Award, presented to the department by the West Virginia Firemen’s Association earlier this month, for excellence in fire prevention programs. It was the fourth consecutive year NMVFD has been given statewide recognition.

For the fourth consecutive year, the New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department has won recognition from the West Virginia State Firemen’s Association.

Again this year, the department garnered the Gail Ash Award for its fire prevention programs. Presentation of the award was made at the Association’s 81st Annual Awards Banquet held in Vienna, Aug. 20-22.

The fire prevention programs, designed by Deputy Chief Joe Smith, “have excelled in both number and quality,” said NMVFD Chief Larry Couch. “We are pleased that the hard work and dedication of Joe and other men and women of the department has received statewide recognition.”

Couch also noted that many department members take time off from their jobs to develop and present the programs. “That’s in addition to losing time on the job to answer calls,” Couch added.

NMVFD received the Ash award in 2006 and 2008. In 2007,

Assistant Chief Cris Jenkins and Firefighters Tim Pugh and Mike Owens received the association’s award for heroism in the rescue of an unconscious, unresponsive male victim from a fourth-floor apartment fire.

Based on the philosophy that prevention is the key to saving lives, the New Martinsville area has fewer residential fires than average, Couch noted. It also has fewer fire-related injuries and deaths per capita, “all of which gives us a better quality of life.

“You will be hard pressed to go to any volunteer or career department in the state or region,” Couch concluded, “and find individuals and a department that has a greater commitment of personnel and resources to fire prevention.”

The New Martinsville Volunteer Fire Department provides primary fire, rescue, hazardous materials, disaster, EMS and community service response to the City of New Martinsville and surrounding areas.

Surrounding areas include Proctor; Kent; Doolin Road; American Ridge; Huff Ridge; Schupbach Ridge; Tarpan Ridge; Limestone Ridge; Whiteman Hill; Cider Run; W. Va. Rt. 20 to Fluharty Run; W. Va. Rt. 7 to near Turkey Run Road; W. Va. Rt. 180 to Cider Run; W. Va. Rt. 89 to Anderson Hill; and W. Va. Rt. 2 South. to just south of the former Nally’s Furniture store.

In 2008, the agency responded to more than 485 calls for assistance and is on track to have that many or more responses in 2009.

For more information on becoming one of the department’s dedicated members, visit the website www.fdnm.org; visit one of the department’s two stations – on Ohio Street downtown or in Steelton next to the Department of Highways Building and New Martinsville School; or call Couch at 304-771-1827.