The Western Albemarle Rescue squad celebrated its all-volunteer crew at the squad’s annual awards dinner at King Family Vineyards Feb. 2. Emma Freeauf was recognized as Member of the Year and also took home the Frances Henry Award, which is given to the volunteer who has run the most calls.
WARS now has more than 100 members, up from last year, and answered 1,689 calls for help in 2018, a six percent increase from the year before. It is one of the few remaining all-volunteer rescue squads in the area.
The traditional slide show review of the year past was loaded this time with special effects and customary scenes of life at the squad house. At one point in the show, grateful Karen McCarthy explained in a letter what off-duty squad members had done to save her Great Pyrenees dog after it was hit by a car and staggered wounded from the scene.
A special presentation was made of a life-size photo cut-out of chief Kostis Alibertis that was placed in poses in the squad house and various vehicles.
WARS president Bill Wood was joined by Bob Knox to make the awards. Freeauf was recognized as the single member who was “most beneficial” to the cause. Member of the Year is chosen on the consensus of the membership.
The President’s Award was presented to David Booth. Wood explained that it went to the person who had done the most “for the corporation.”
The Chief’s Award, chosen by Alibertis, went to John Norin.
Rookie of the Year was Lauren Brill.
Life Memberships, which require at least seven years of service, were awarded to Taylor Tereskerz, Janice Steppe, David Booth and Emily Wagoner.