Anchor Point emergency responders honored

Members of the Anchor Point Volunteer Fire Department gathered at Anchor River Inn Saturday for its annual training meeting on Saturday.

The event was an opportunity for guest speaker Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre, to officially welcome the Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Service Area’s new chief, Jim Dycus.

“(Navarre) couldn’t stay for the whole evening, but he gave his appreciation to the volunteers and everything they do and to Kayt (Andrews, former acting chief),” said Erica Steven, APFESA board chair.

From Georgia, Dycus has 30 years of firefighting experience. He began work at Anchor Point on Jan. 6. Prior to Dycus being hired, Andrews served as acting chief for a year and a half. Scott Walden, director of the borough’s Office of Emergency Management, acted as chief for several months before Dycus’ hiring.

Among those honored were:

Volunteer Connie Prouty for more than 12 years of service and dedication;

Top 10 responders: Jolayne Soplanda, Connie Prouty, Vivian Norenberg, Jeran Marchbanks, Fritz Elefritz, Richard Ginter, Cassandra Parkinson, Jim Dress, Jon Marsh, and Dave Matthews;

Dispatchers who volunteered before the Soldotna Communication Center assumed dispatching responsibilities for Anchor Point: June Picard, Sandy Dress, Jolayne Soplanda, Robin Proctor, Cassie Parkinson, Cindy Munsell, Skip Mills, and Maureen Tracy;

Retiring 36-year dispatcher: Lora Craig;

2013 Support Person of the Year: Lora Craig;

2013 Fire Person of the Year: Jon Marsh;

2013 EMS Person of the Year: Dave Matthews;

Anchor Point Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Award: Fritz Elefritz;

Anchor Point Fire and Emergency Medical Service Area Board Appreciation: Sandra Matthews, Erica Steven, Reuben Sherwood, Bob Craig, Roberta Proctor and board secretary Lora L. Craig;

Anchor Point Volunteer Fire Department Volunteer Appreciation: Steve Veldstra, Jolayne Soplanda, Robert Gaedecke, Sandy Dress, Kim Alexander, Jeri Trail, Bob Craig, Tammy Thomas, Jim Dycus, Erica Steven, Al Terry, Connie Prouty, Clancy McClaren, Fritz Elefritz, Tom Doyle, John Haerle, Jeran Marchbanks, Lora Craig, Richard Ginter, Jim Dress, and Matt Trail.

The training portion of the evening was done with a new Philips Cardiac Monitor, a 12-lead EKG now being used on Anchor Point’s three ambulances. Firefighter Tom Doyle presented fire training with two thermal imaging cameras that offer vision through smoke and fire. 

Erica Steven, the service area board chair, closed the evening by expressing appreciation for the service area volunteer responders.

“They miss time with their families, friends, nights of sleep, sometimes even miss income because they’re responding on calls for people,” said Steven of the dedication of the volunteers. 

Steven also has words of praise for Dycus.

“He is amazing … He had so much thrown at him in such a short time span. He’s really stepped up to the plate,” said Steven. 

In addition to Steven, APFESA board members include Robin Proctor, Bob Craig and Reuben Sherwood. A vacancy on the board is soon to be filled.

“We have a candidate that we’ve already made a recommendation for, the mayor has made a recommendation to the assembly and now we just have to swear him in at the next board meeting,” said Steven of adding Conrad Woodhead, principal of Chapman School, to the board roster.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.