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Michael Henderson, David Howitt receive San Juan Island Fire Department’s highest awards

Front from left, Michael Henderson and David Howitt received San Juan Island Fire Department’s highest awards Jan. 30 when the department celebrated the 2009 contributions of its members. The celebration was held in the U.W. Friday Harbor Labs dining hall. - Steve Marler
Front from left, Michael Henderson and David Howitt received San Juan Island Fire Department’s highest awards Jan. 30 when the department celebrated the 2009 contributions of its members. The celebration was held in the U.W. Friday Harbor Labs dining hall.
— image credit: Steve Marler

Michael Henderson and David Howitt received San Juan Island Fire Department’s highest awards Saturday night when the department celebrated the 2009 contributions of its members, at the U.W. Friday Harbor Labs dining hall.

The firefighters and support members were honored for their dedicated service in 2009 at the annual awards banquet, which was attended by about 90 people including guests.

Entertainment was provided by First Take Improv, with members Ryan Bennett, James “Shu” Carroll, Kamala Chambers, Julie Laidlaw and Amy Windrope. Doug Rhine of smoothdj.com provided the music during the event.

San Juan County officially recognized San Juan County Fire District No. 3 as a fire district on Oct. 6, 1958. The fire district covers about 55 square miles, which includes San Juan Island outside the town limits, Brown and Pearl islands.

The following firefighters were honored with special awards for their service in 2009.

— Firefighter of the Year: David Howitt
— Officer of the Year: Michael Henderson
— Rescue Technician of the Year: Harry See
— Rookie of the Year: Adam Ayers
— Support Volunteer of the Year: Dave Smith

The following firefighter station awards were given:

— Station 31 (Mullis Street): Harry See
— Station 32 (Cape San Juan): Francis Smith
— Station 33 (Little Mountain): Lunnette Higdon-Hertel
— Station 34/35 (Sunset Point/Roche Harbor): Rick Prescott
— Station 36 (Eagle Crest): Chris Wisniewski

Plaques were given to Lunnette Higdon-Hertel for 20 years of service; and to retiring firefighters Peter Kilpatrick (1986-2009), Chris Guidotti (1996-2009), Jon Zerby (1999-2009), and Robin Dyer (1999-2009).

Albert Olson was recognized for 10 years of service; and Michael Henderson, Patrick Merlino and Brien Sesby were recognized for five years of service.

The San Juan Island Firefighters Association gave special awards to Joan Byrne and Ted Noll for their dedication to the fire department and its support activities.

The San Juan Island Fire Department recognizes Orcas Fire Department for providing a crew of eight firefighters to cover an initial response in case of a call during the banquet.

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