Fire police award members’ service

Susquehanna County Fire Police Association President Mark Wood is presented the Fire Police of the Year award by Jack Lasher at the association’s annual banquet held Thursday in Montrose.

BY STACI WILSON

Members of the Susquehanna County Fire Police Association gathered at their annual banquet Thursday evening to pay tribute to two of the organization’s members.

Mark Wood, of Dimock Twp., was presented the Fire Police of the Year award by previous award recipient Jack Lasher.

Wood said, “I appreciate it. Others here deserve the award more than I do.”

He added he was thrilled to have his parents attend the banquet and was equally happy to have his “second parents,” Jack and Carol Lasher also in attendance.

Wood is a member of United Fire Co., Montrose, and has also been a member of Springville Volunteer Fire Co.

Before presenting the award, Lasher listed Wood’s accomplishments and service to the fire police community, including his accreditation as a state fire instructor and his position as the county’s emergency management director from 2004-08.

Lasher also noted Wood’s volunteerism in the community.

Wood has held the title of Fire Police Captain since 1998; is a member of the Montrose Minutemen; has served on the Fire Chief’s Association; has been a Boy Scout leader; and also served as a board member for the Susquehanna County chapter of the American Red Cross.

On a personal note, Lasher, who has been a family friend of Wood’s for years, said the award recipient was known for his lavish Christmas dinners as well as holiday cookie platters he gives to friends each year.

Patricia Morrison received the Citizenship of the Year award by the county Fire Police Association.

The Citizenship of the Year award was presented to Patricia Morrison, of New Milford, by Gertrude Bronson.

Bronson said that although Morrison is not known to most people but is a reliable, behind-the-scenes person. Bronson added, “She is a rose in our organization.”

Morrison excels in selling the fire police fundraising calendars, Bronson noted.

Morrison has sold 125 of the calendars this year and has raised $6,640 for the organization.

“She is a caring, community minded person,” Bronson said.

Dr. Karen Flannery, of Luzerne County Community College, offered the keynote address.

Flannery spoke to the fire police about the services offered for emergency responders at the college’s Regional Training Center.

Flannery said the center has been designed to meet the needs of firefighters, fire police, police and emergency responders.

The center, said Flannery, is designed to expand in a five phase build out. The first phase that includes a burn building, headquarters and a tactical building was dedicated in 2008.

The second phase which features a road course and helicopter landing pad is now near completion.

Flannery said that emergency personnel put their lives on the line when doing the job. “The risk is very imminent,” she said. “You have to be well-trained to keep not only yourselves safe but also for the others out there.”

The banquet was held at the Montrose Bible Conference.