Gratitude + 2020 Awards – Carbondale & Rural Fire Protection District

Gratitude + 2020 Awards

As we bring this unexpected and challenging year to an end we’d like to take this opportunity to show our gratitude for the people who keep our department running strong and to the community for showing overwhelming support when we needed it most. This year had its fair share of ups and downs – from the pandemic to a historic wildfire season, to our local election, and finally to settle into a holiday season that looks different than the rest. We’re grateful for everyone who has been by our side this year. 

A Big Thank You to Our Community!

We are honored and grateful to our community for supporting us through our local election in November. The implications of the Gallagher Amendment have made it challenging for our department to feel secure with consistent funding in the past, so this was a major win for us. As we continue to serve and protect our community, we want to ensure that we have the best equipment possible to give the best possible aid. As we saw this summer with the historic wildfire season, we will also be able to continue our Initial Attack Program (which you can read more about here). This stabilization of funding will help us to maintain these necessary programs, continue to pay our staff and be able to purchase new apparatus and equipment to keep our community safe. We couldn’t have done this without you, our community, so thank you for trusting and supporting us this year. 

2020 Awards

During a normal year, we would be announcing these awards at our holiday party, but since we are not able to celebrate in person this year, we wanted to give recognition to these hardworking individuals. Our team is something truly special and we are very fortunate to have so many amazing men and women involved in our department. 

FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR –  RYAN ALLISON – Ryan is a key member of our B-Shift crew. Ever since Ryan started with CRFPD he has been a non-stop force. Ryan is a firefighter/EMT who has also become one of the linchpins to our Wildland Fire Crew. Ryan volunteered for several out of district wildfire deployments that assisted on large wildfires in other communities. Ryan is also deeply involved in our technical rescue group and our drone program as well. He is absolutely deserving of the Firefighter of The Year Award.

EMT OF THE YEAR – SARAH MORONEY – Sarah joined as a volunteer in 2012. From the very start, Sarah jumped in as a volunteer member performing shifts at Station 81.  Sarah has shown her dedication to her community, going on many calls, participating in hundreds of hours of training and even pulling extra volunteer shifts when we really needed the help. Sarah is truly a special person who’s dedication and compassion make her the EMT of the Year.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR –  JOHN LAWSON – John joined the fire district in 2020. John wasted no time in getting involved, signing up for numerous shifts at Station 81. John has already completed his EMT-B certification course and is signed up for the Firefighter I course starting in 2021. We look forward to many great years with John here at CRFPD.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER –  ASHLEY BUSS – Ashley has been a member of the ambulance and fire crews at CRFPD since 2014. This year, Ashley was promoted to the position of Shift Captain, leading our C-Shift crew. In 2020, we experienced a year of constant change along with an incredibly busy call volume. Ashley not only lead her crew members very well but, she also covered many holes in our shift staffing this year. Ashley truly leads by example and she is a Most Valuable Player!

MOST CALLS – BENNETT “DOSS” COODY – Doss began his career at  CRFPD in 2019 and continues to be a valuable member of our EMS and Fire crews. Doss is a fixture on our volunteer shift crews as well as responding to emergencies whenever the pager goes off.  Doss responded to over 140 calls in 2020, the most volunteer responses in the District. We look forward to many more years with Doss on the CRFPD team!

TRAINING “MONSTER” –  BENNETT “DOSS” COODY – Doss has a great desire to keep on learning. Doss completed over 245 hours of training in 2020. This is in addition to many hours spent on duty performing volunteer shifts at Station 81. Doss completed his EMT-B course, along with completing our Wildland S130/190 firefighting course. Doss Coody is truly a training “Monster”.

AMBULANCE DRIVER OF THE YEAR – MIKE GILFRY – For quite some time, Mike Gilfry has been one of the most valuable members of CRFPD’s EMS services. As a driver for the ambulance service, Mike has faithfully shown up for overnight volunteer shifts every week! Mike makes sure that the crew gets to an incident safely, he assists with patient care and equipment and then delivers the patient and crew safely to the hospital. We are very grateful for the dedication and skill that Mike brings to every shift and ambulance call to which he responds.

LEADERSHIP AWARD –  AARON LUTTRELL – Aaron Luttrell is a Shift Lieutenant on our A-Shift crew. For many years now, Aaron has been an instructor and leader for the fire district and his community as well. Aaron mentors many of the volunteers and new Paramedics who perform shifts in Carbondale. Aaron has also been instrumental in the development and implementation of our UAV (drone) Program. Aaron is not only a leader around the fire station but on the fire ground as well. Aaron always puts the safety of his crew at the top of the list, showing everyone around him what the definition of a great leader really means.

MOST IMPROVED – GRACE KENNEDY – Grace has been with CRFPD since 2017. Grace has been a valuable member of the On-Duty volunteer EMS crews at Station 81 and is now a great addition to our A-Shift crew. In 2020, Grace’s commitment to excellence has continued as she successfully completed her Paramedic course along with her field internship (500 hours!). Way to go Grace!

LIFESAVER AWARD –  SCOTT EVANS, WILL HANDVILLE, PAUL LUTTRELL, KARL OLIVER AND RYAN ALLISON – This crew of folks responded to a call in the north end of the District where a patient was injured in a very unique accident. While retrieving a pet from a small irrigation ditch, the victim fell through the bottom of the ditch into a sink hole with water pouring in. The crew performed a rapid rescue, inserting a firefighter into the sink hole and lifted the victim from the hole. The victim was hypothermic in very serious condition. From the ED physicians to the family of the patient, everyone involved agreed that this crew’s actions absolutely saved the patient’s life. Very nicely done!

SAFETY AWARD –   FRANK NADELL – Frank Nadell has been an integral part of the operations at CRFPD since 1993. Frank is our Deputy Chief of Training at CRFPD. In 2020 Frank was tasked with ensuring that our Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) was not only the proper equipment but, he had to keep a sufficient supply for our people. Frank spent many hours and days not only ensuring that we had adequate PPE but he also developed and delivered all of the necessary training to go with it. This was a huge task and Frank has excelled in making sure that our responders are safe on every emergency call. Thank you so much Frank.

EVER READY AWARD –  PAUL WAHLBRINK – Paul Wahlbrink has been with CRFPD since 2018. Paul has become an integral part of our emergency response crew at our Marble Station 83. Paul has been unwavering in his desire to not only learn more and more but also to help his community. Paul has consistently been at the Marble Station making sure the apparatus and equipment are ready to go along with responding to as many incidents as possible. Paul Wahlbrink really is “Ever Ready” and he is a great example of selfless service to us all.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE – GARRETT KENNEDY – This award goes to the staff member who we believe represents the best of who we are and what we do. In 2020, Garrett Kennedy stands out as the staff member who best reflected what distinguished service means. Garrett has been with CRFPD since 2001, first as a volunteer and later as a member of our paid staff. Garrett was promoted to the position of Captain – Emergency Medical Services Coordinator in 2020. Garrett has taken his new position and moved us forward in our efforts to provide the highest “Standard of Care” possible. EMS response is the biggest part of what we do at CRFPD and there are many, many moving parts that require someone to be not only focused but extremely flexible. Garrett has been that person in 2020 for sure.

SHIFTS HAPPEN AWARD – BENNET “DOSS” COODY – This award goes to the volunteer member who performs the most “shift hours”. We have quite a number of volunteers who dedicate time performing shifts at and around their respective stations. Doing a shift requires that person to be ready to respond to an incident the same as our paid crews. Doss Coody has done over 1,000 hours of shifts in 2020! We are glad and grateful to have him as part of the CRFPD team.


CRFPD is blessed to have a large number of folks who have served and been a part of this great organization for many years. We really do stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us.