Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

February 23, 2012

CCFD unveils 9/11 Memorial

A special video tribute to 9/11 including the unveiling of plans for a memorial park which will have a piece of the World Trade Center steel as its centerpiece was presented along with awards and certificates during the Cumberland County Fire Department's annual banquet held at the Clyde M. York 4-H Center Saturday night.

The plans were made by Upland Design Group of Crossville and will feature the trade center steel surrounded by landscaping and a walkway to the memorial. The memorial will be in the shape of the Pentagon.

It will be located between the Fair Park Senior Center and the Cumberland County Complex (fairgrounds) fire station off Livingston Rd.

"We received the steel this past summer and since that time have been working on a fitting memorial and site," Fire Chief/Emergency Services Department Director Jeff Dodson told banquet attendees. "We hope to be able to start work on it in the spring and have it finished by summer or a little later."

Dodson added that there would be a public dedication once the memorial is completed.

Linda and Bob Brooks prepared a video tribute to 911 which was incorporated into this year's program with special comments made by former Fairfield Glade Fire Chief and former Fire Department of New York firefighter Bob Citkovec and retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer A.J. Benson.

Citkovec, a 49-year firefighter veteran and veteran of Vietnam, paid tribute to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the World Trade Center attack and concluded his remarks by asking for a moment of silence for those who perished.

Benson, now employed by the Tennessee Valley Authority at the Kingston plant and a volunteer firefighter at the Crab Orchard station, told the group he had learned of the program to send pieces of the WTC steel to local communities around the country and immediately filed applications for the power plant where he works.

He then thought Cumberland County would be an excellent site, as well, and filed the paperwork to have one of the pieces of steel brought to Crossville. He went to NYC to accompany the steel back to Tennessee. Crossville is one of eight sites in Tennessee that will display a steel memorial.

In recapping the department's activities for the year, Dodson noted that responses were down for the first time in recent years. Although Cumberland County was spared the deadly tornado outbreak of last spring, county firefighters responded to assist Bledsoe County in the recovery of two fatalities from the storms that hit the Pikeville area and to offer other assistance.

Firefighters participated in the annual MDA drive during which $4,800 was raised, and the Salvation Army Red Kettle drive during which city and county firefighters raised $4,300 in one day.

Top responders for 2011 were recognized with Josh Ireland leading the list with 235 responses and training sessions. Second was Shawn Aytes with 207; third David Morgan with 204; fourth, Roy Nieto with 169; and fifth Hope Parsons with 164.

Top responders by district were: Trevor Gibson, Central District, 89; Jordan Luttrell, Homestead District 3, 162; Rick Bilbrey, Alloway District 3, 44; Clyde Winningham, Genesis District 4, 38; Allen Weidner, Peavine District 4, 55; David Kennedy, Tansi District 5, 111; Justin Wyatt, Midway District 5, 40; J.D. Dyer, Big Lick District 5, 22; A.J. Benson, Crab Orchard District 6, 98; Jeremy Comer, Westel District 6, 81; Tony Neely, Hebberstburg District 5, 24; Chris Lawson, Plateau District 7, 95; Rob Presley, Rinnie District 7, 99; David Earhart, Mayland District 7, 128; Greg Fisher, Pleasant Hill District 8, 89; and Travis Cole, Taylor's Chapel District 8, 72.

The following firefighters were recognized for landmark years of service. They are: 30 years, Doug Findley and Wayne Findley; 25 years, Chris South; 20 years, Jerry DeRossett and Gary Hubbard; 15 years, Jason Hughes; ten years, David Winningham, David Earhart, Lynn Moore, Shawn Hafen, Roy Vanwinkle, Michael Bridges, Jeff Webb, Bryan Edmonds, Tim Davis and Tommy Holt; and five years, Clayton Tanner, David Morgan, Tracy Blank, James Ray Collins, James Threet, David Cooper and Bob Stith.

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