• By Todd Luck
  • Posted Thursday, March 12, 2020

Forsyth County Firefighters Association honors local firefighters

Forsyth County Firefighters Association honored several county firefighters during its meeting on March 11.

“Our annual awards give us the opportunity to give a little attention to those who go above and beyond the call and this year is no exception,” said Association President Brain Smith, chief of the Belews Creek Fire Department.


Rookie of the Year- Josh Kiger (Rural Hall Fire & Rescue Department)
This award honors those 18 years-old and older with less than five years of fire service in Forsyth County. Kiger has attended 387 training hours and responded to 307 calls for service in 13 months. He’s currently in recruit school with the High Point Fire Department. He’s managed to do all this while balancing family, church and his own successful plumbing business.


Rescue Member of the Year- Jason Fariss (Old Richmond Fire & Rescue Department)
Fariss works for the King Fire Department, part-time at the Yadkin Fire Department and part-time at Yadkin EMS, while also volunteering with Old Richmond and balancing his family and church responsibilities.


Officer of the Year- Kelly Baker (Horneytown Fire Department)
Baker came to Horneytown as a junior firefighter and is now the deputy chief. He takes ownership of the needs there, so he always wants to know what’s going on with the fire department and how he can help.


Firefighter of the Year- Justin Ritchey (King and Old Richmond Fire Departments)
Ritchey has volunteered with King for seven years and balances family, church and work with his firefighting duties. He is known for being a good communicator who is eager to help. He was chosen for his dedication to volunteer firefighting.

The association also honored outgoing officers: President Lee Hedgecock (Horneytown Fire Department), Secretary Suzanne Murray (Kernersville Fire & Rescue Department) and Treasurer Wesley Hutchins (Walkertown Fire Department).

Established in 1956, Forsyth County Firefighters Association coordinates the efforts of all member organizations in order to establish, maintain and standardize county-wide fire protection programs, projects, procedures and training curriculum.

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