Chief Kirkpatrick recognized for decades of service
Members of the Indian Joint Fire District and their families gathered over the weekend for an awards banquet to recognize recent achievements of the department.
Chief Mark Gibson said the occasion was a little overdue since they were unable to gather at the height of the pandemic, and the department wanted to pay a special tribute to recently retired Chief Rick Kirkpatrick.
In 2020, Chief Kirkpatrick concluded his tenure following 45 years of service to the Russells Point Volunteer Fire Department and the Indian Joint Fire District.
“Forty-five years of selfless service is rare in today’s modern fire service,” members related, noting that the retired chief began his firefighter duties in 1975.
Few records from 1975-1996 are available, but IJFD officials related that statistics from 1997 to 2020 show that Chief Kirkpatrick completed: 1,638 runs; 1,919 hours on scenes; along with 400 hours in training.
In addition, during his service, the retired chief spent countless hours training others, completing paperwork and in meetings, and conducted hundreds of fire safety inspections. He also led dozens of fire investigations and critical vehicle purchase teams.
Under his leadership, the building renovation and addition took shape that benefits the department today, IJFD representatives noted.
Chief Kirkpatrick’s son served as a firefighter alongside him, and as fire chief, he hired a total of 12 firefighters.
Jack McCoy served as the master of ceremonies for the event. IJFD Chaplain Cynthia Defiibaugh provided the invocation, friend of the department Captain Jay Louks served as the guest speaker and the Rev. Jim Ellington provided the benediction.
Those receiving awards are as followed:
Firefighters Sworn In — Charlie Wildermuth, JJ Frost and Mike Vasquez.
Promotions — Assistant Chief Ron Kimmel; Capt. Kevin Sloas; Lt. Jerrod Hostetler; and Lt. Steve Reid.
Ohio State Firefighter Level 1 Certifications — Assistant Chief Kimmel, Lt. Hostetler and firefighters, Brandon Vanhorn, Don Thompson Frost, Vasquez and Sean Reese
Ohio State Firefighter Level 2 Certification — Chief Mark Gibson, Cpts. Dave Klauer and Sloas, Lt. Reid, firefighters Dan Defibaugh, Jason Richter, Joe Freyhof and Steve Major.
Resuce Diver — Chief Gibson, Assistant Chiefs Tim Reese and Kimmel, Capts. Klauer and Sloas, Lt. Hostetler, firefighters Reese, Defibaugh and Richter.