HFDA awards scholarship, recognizes firefighters and donates to Kiwanis Safety Town project

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The Hudson Fire Department Association recently hosted a banquet at Laurel Lake to recognize firefighters for their contributions in 2013. Ginger Graber received the highest honor of Firefighter of the Year for her contributions in 2013 and her years of service to the Hudson community.

Tim Douds was awarded Engineer of the Year for his time dedicated to keeping HFD trucks and equipment in peak operating condition and training firefighters. The HFDA awarded both Lt. Jeff Graber and Fire Chief Jerry Varnes the distinction of Officer of the Year. Graber's award recognizes his efforts with long term fire truck and equipment replacement planning and HFD's equipment maintenance programs. Varnes received recognition for the successful transition to chief and his ability to resolve complex personnel and fire ground issues. Rookie of the Year was awarded to Justin Thompson for his contributions made in the short time so far.

Others receiving recognition at the banquet were Mike Barna for 10 years of service and Gary Maher for 25 years of service. Varnes awarded the Chief's Award to Shawn Kasson, Tony Calabro, Jeff Graber and Joe Campbell for their contributions to the fire department, including hours put into fire inspections, promotions and growth in the department and going above and beyond to support HFD operations. Many others were recognized for their contributions in 2013 as well.

The HFDA also recently awarded its annual $1,000 college scholarship to Tyler Behm who will attend The Ohio State University to study engineering in the fall. The award was presented to Tyler by Capt. Jeff Alexander at the school's annual awards ceremony. Chair of the HFDA Scholarship Committee Lt. Joe Alexander said,"We are extremely proud of Tyler and our scholarship program and thank the community for their generous support of our fundraising efforts that allow us to continue this tradition."

In support of the permanent Safety Town project, the HFDA donated $500 to HCER for building supplies and $250 in materials and time to construct the firehouse that will be part of the miniature town. HFDA member Lt. Jay Zedak, who is also chair of the Safety Town project, brought the HFDA and Safety Town groups together for the opportunity for the HFDA to help out.

"Every town needs a firehouse and I could think of no better group to build the Safety Town firehouse than the HFDA," said Zedak.

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