Chester Gap column for Dec. 16

Two finishing training

Two new members of the Chester Gap Volunteer Fire & Rescue Department are set to finish their Firefighter I and II training this month. Kurt Feldmeyer and Randy Norman have proven to be invaluable assets to the department. Both have completed E.V.O.C. training, which allows them to drive fire trucks from the smallest Utility truck to the largest Engine-9 once they have completed the Basic Pump Operator class and had hands- on training with either Chief Clinton Wines or Assistant Chief Ricky Fogle. Feldmyer and Norman have also had CPR, first-aid, hazardous material and operations instruction.

The two new members say the Firefighter I and II training has been the most demanding. Classes are every Tuesday and Thursday night and last three to four hours each night. Sometimes the class meets on Saturday and Sunday as well. Classes began the first week of August and end Dec. 21. Each man has sacrificed time with their families but consider the training invaluable. They’ve responded to every call they possibly can and are quickly racking up some commendable numbers. These fine gentlemen should be commended for their hard work and sacrifices.

Next month they’ll be tested for state certification.

Department elects new officers

The Chester Gap Vol. Fire & Rescue Department’s annual elections this month saw some new faces added to the board of directors as well as to the fire officers roster. The department has received more applications and added new members and is looking forward to a bright New Year. The board of directors and fire officers for the upcoming year are as follows:

Board of Directors: President Chris Ubben, Vice President Kurt Feldmeyer, Treasurer Maybelle Gilkey, Assistant Treasurer Amanda Crawford, Secretary Stephanie Crawford, Member At Large Angie Norman.

Fire Officers: Fire Chief Clint Wines, Assistant Fire Chief Ricky Fogle, Fire Capt. Brandon Phillips, Fire Lt. Kurt Feldmeyer, E.M.S. Captain Tabetha Swain, E.M.S. Lt. Stephanie Crawford.

Upcoming fundraisers

The fire department has a lot of fundraisers in the works as well, with many centered on community events. There is a Breakfast with Santa scheduled for Saturday (Dec. 18) at the department’s banquet hall from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 5 to 12 and seniors. Children under 5 eat for free. Pictures with Santa will be available for a small donation to the department’s equipment fund. While there make sure you purchase a quart or two of the department’s homemade apple butter. It’s all hand-processed from real apples that were peeled, cut, and cooked in the department’s own copper kettles by members. The department’s president says that “a jar or two would make a wonderful Christmas present for anyone; an you won’t find any better in the county!”