CORNING – Corning Veterans Memorial Hall filled with people Saturday night as the Corning Exchange Club held its annual Law Enforcement and Firefighter Recognition Awards to honor those who protect and serve in the Tehama county.
Corning Exchange Club President Ross Turner addressed the audience at the start of the ceremony to remind the winners of the importance of their role in the community.
“We have not been able to hold this ceremony for the past two years and in those two years we have lost emergency personnel and first responders across the county, people who have dedicated their lives to a profession that many criticize today,” Turner said. “We are here to honor you. You should all look in the mirror when you return home and be proud of your chosen profession.
The evening continued with words from Pastor Ken Killinger, followed by the national anthem performed by Charlie Troughton. Host Linda Watkins-Bennett of Action News Now introduced each presenter and winner as awards were handed out throughout the evening.
Fire Engineer Casey Hickok and Police Sergeant Ruben Murgia were two of 13 Red Bluff winners.
Red Bluff Fire Department Chief Ray Barber presented Hickok with his award, stating that Hickok’s roots in the Red Bluff community were important to the agency and its legacy.
“He grew up in Red Bluff and graduated from Red Bluff High School,” Barber said. “It’s good to go out into the community and show kids going to school that when they grow up there’s a career in their hometown for them and he’s a great example of that.”
Another potential Red Bluff community leader honored at the ceremony was Murgia.
“Sergeant Murgia is here for a number of reasons, including being a team player and serving our department and our community with integrity, pride and dedication every day,” Barber said. “It is because of Ruben’s great work ethic, dedication and commitment, not only to the Red Bluff Police Department, but the Red Bluff community and our citizens, that we recognize him as the ‘officer of the year.’
Corning Police and Fire Department, and Tehama County Sheriff and Fire Department, also honored their personnel with awards.
Corning personnel honored included Company 12 Firefighter Warren Price, Firefighter Billy Wooten and Sergeant Randall “Craig” Bassett.
County honorees included Cal Fire Captain Matt Troehler, Firefighter Ken Johnston, District Attorney ll Investigator Ed McCullough, Deputy Kevin Hoglund and Deputy Probation Officer ll Heather Chamblin.
The California Highway Patrol recognized Officer Tracy Thompson, Officer Miguel Deleon and Commercial Vehicle Inspection Specialist Jeffrey Roe.
The ceremony included a silent auction, a raffle and a prime rib dinner for the families of honored personnel.
Melissa Joseph can be reached at 510-491-7151, email@example.com or on Twitter at @melisstweetz.