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Effingham Fire honors staff, volunteers in awards ceremony
0311 fire rescue awards
On the front row, from left to right, for the first Effingham Fire and Rescue awards are: firefighter Brandon Warren, firefighter Mark Mathews, firefighter Matt Mayo, firefighter Jim Newton, Lt. Greg Rahn, Capt. Bryce Nyberg, battalion Chief Joel Hughes, Lt. Jonathon Mastin, firefighter Jason Taylor, Harper Sitman (accepting on behalf of her father, firefighter Jason Sitman), firefighter Kim Odom and firefighter Jennifer Wright; and back row: Chief Clint Hodges, County Administrator Toss Allen, Commissioner Forrest Floyd, Commissioner Reggie Loper, Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie, Commissioner Vera Jones, Commissioner Jamie DeLoach, firefighter Lee Montgomery, Sgt. John Saluta and firefighter Dana Rigsby. - photo by Photo provided

Effingham Fire and Rescue recognized the accomplishments of staff, volunteers and family members in the inaugural awards and accolades banquet held Feb. 21 at the Effingham College and Career Academy, including meritorious service awards for life-saving instances.

Jonathan Mastin, Mark Mathews, Matthew Mayo, Jason Sitman, Brandon Warren, and Jason Taylor received meritorious service awards for administering life-saving procedures and reviving an adult patient through CPR and an automated external defibrillator Nov. 19.

The second award went to Effingham E911 communications officer and volunteer firefighter Kimberly Odom for her actions Nov. 3. She answered a 911 call from a parent in distress over an infant who had stopped breathing.

While simultaneously dispatching Effingham Fire, EMS and law enforcement to the scene, Odom also began emergency medical dispatch procedures with pre-arrival instructions over the phone to the parent for performing infant CPR. The infant regained consciousness, began breathing and was transported to Memorial Health University Medical Center by Effingham EMS staff Bob Summers and Chris Camilleri, who arrived later on scene.

Odom was presented her award by the infant’s parents.

Awards also were given for rookie of the year, firefighter of the year, fire officer of the year, and humanitarian effort. Sponsors of the event included Effingham College and Career Academy, Effingham Health System, Hadden Insurance Agency, JG Photography, Joann’s Florist, Bill Lucas Insurance, James Bolfik and Steven Bellmoff with New York Life, and NFI Industries.