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Sat, April 10

New officers selected for Williams Fire; members recognized for service

From left: Robert Ortiz, Kevin Schulte, Loretta McKenney, Ian James, Jeff Pettit and Chase Pearson attend the 2020 Williams Fire Department Christmas party. Ortiz and Pearson received 15 year service awards, Pettit received a 20 year award and McKenney was named 2020 Firefighter of the Year for the department. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

From left: Robert Ortiz, Kevin Schulte, Loretta McKenney, Ian James, Jeff Pettit and Chase Pearson attend the 2020 Williams Fire Department Christmas party. Ortiz and Pearson received 15 year service awards, Pettit received a 20 year award and McKenney was named 2020 Firefighter of the Year for the department. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Every year Williams Volunteer Fire Department (WFD) selects new officers and recognizes members for their service.

During the department's Dec. 2 regular meeting, Ian James was selected by members to serve as chief, replacing Kevin Schulte. Don Mackay remains assistant fire chief. Shilo Thompson, Chase Pearson and Cameron Maebe retained their positions as captains and Robert Ortiz and Loretta McKenney will continue to serve as lieutenants.

James has served 29 years on the department and was chief for three years during the late 1990s and early 2000s. He is a full-time captain/paramedic for the Verde Valley Fire District.

Longevity awards

On Dec. 12, during their annual Christmas party, Williams Fire presented longevity awards to members.

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Jeff Pettit and Jeff Dent (not pictured) were recognized for 20 years of service to Williams Fire by Williams Fire Chief Kevin Schulte and incoming Chief Ian James Dec. 12. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

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Chase Pearson receives a 15-year award for service with Williams Volunteer Fire Department. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

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Robert Ortiz receives a 15-year award for service with Williams Volunteer Fire Department. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

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Bobby Augenstine was posthumously recognized for more than 45 years of service Dec. 12. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

Jeff Pettit and Jeff Dent were recognized for 20 years of service to Williams Fire. Chase Pearson and Robert Ortiz received 15-year awards for their service. Bobby Augenstine, who passed away Nov. 16 was posthumously recognized for more than 45 years of service with Williams Fire.

Loretta McKenney was named 2020 Firefighter of the Year for Williams Fire. She has served two years with the department.

Williams Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1921. It is an all-volunteer department. The current roster for WFD consists of 15 firefighters, two cadets and six support members.

According to National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), volunteers comprise 67 percent of firefighters in the U.S. Of the total estimated 1,115,000 firefighters across the country, 745,000 are volunteer.

If you are interested in serving your community, contact Williams Fire at (928) 635-4451 Ext 227.

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