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Mathews firefighters hold banquet, awards ceremony

Mathews Volunteer Fire Department held its annual banquet and awards ceremony Saturday evening at the Piankatank Ruritan Club, honoring members’ service and giving special recognition to those who have served the longest.

Firefighter Rob Hudgins was named Firefighter of the Year, cited particularly for the extensive community outreach he has provided, and Carmen Chatterton received the Dispatcher Award.

Firefighter Kenny Garrett was recognized for having served the department for 50 years.

Fire Chief Ronnie Lewis delivered the keynote address, speaking off the cuff about the privilege he feels it is to serve with the dedicated men and women of Mathews Volunteer Fire Department. He said it’s an honor to be the person who’s in charge on the scene, and that he’s proud to lead the men and women who are there. He said he often gets compliments on how well the department does and how aggressive its firefighters are.

In terms of operating the department, Lewis said an accountabil...

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