The Sterling Volunteer Fire Company strives to recognize and acknowledge the great contributions and sacrifices that our personnel make everyday to keep our community safe. Each year personnel are recognized by their peers as Probationary Firefighter, Firefighter, Officer, and Administrative Members of the Year. Several members of the department have been recognized by Loudoun County with the John Carr Memorial Award for their outstanding contributions to our fire and rescue system. A few members have been awarded Unit Citations and Medals of Valor for heroism and lifesaving efforts. Today we add a new category to these achievements.
On April 24, 2008 Virginia Governor Tim Kaine will present the Governor’s Award for Volunteerism and Community Service to citizens who have made significant contributions to the life and welfare of the Commonwealth and its people. Awards will be presented to organizations, businesses, families, and individuals whose volunteer and community service efforts focus on building and strengthening the Commonwealth of Virginia.
It is a great honor to announce that Sterling Volunteer Fire Company Technician Rebecca Welsch will be a recipient of this prestigious award for 2008. Rebecca is being honored in the category of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Recovery.
Rebecca has clearly demonstrated her love and commitment to this department and her community. Rebecca holds several very critical positions within the department. First and foremost she is a Technician (apparatus operator) assigned to Duty Crew 1. But she can also be found driving or riding as a firefighter whenever there is an open spot. She is generally the first person to answer the call when someone needs coverage or there is a need for additional staffing. Many nights she can also be found teaching new recruits within the department or volunteering her time at the Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Training Center teaching new Firefighter 1 and 2 students. Somewhere in her spare time she has also managed to take a multitude of firefighting, technical rescue, leadership, and management classes.
Rebecca also serves as the Secretary on the departments elected Board of Directors. This position requires her to maintain all the vital records of the department and organize departmental meetings. As you can imagine this can be a tiring and most often thankless position.
Possibly her hardest job, and the one where she has made a significant impact on the community, is her role as Chairperson of the departments Recruitment and Retention Committee. In this capacity she has ensured the continued growth of the department and allowed us to continue serving the community with well-trained, dedicated, and motivated Volunteer Firefighters and Administrative Personnel. Her efforts will have a lasting effect on the Sterling Volunteer Fire Company and the Sterling Community.
Somehow, when she is not busy fulfilling one of these important roles, she finds the time to be a mentor, role model, and true friend to many of our members.
Please join me in congratulating Rebecca on her achievement. She has done amazing things for our department, our community, and our lives. I personally cannot imagine anyone more deserving of this honor.
Jonathan R. Starling
Sterling Volunteer Fire Company