The St. George Fire Department celebrated its first Family Day Celebration on Oct. 3 on the grounds of its new headquarters, 14100 Airline Highway, with friendly competitions, awards and family events.

The celebration featured inflatables for the children and food and refreshments for department employees and their families. Several friendly firefighter-oriented competitions, such as hose rolling and mannequin-carrying relays, turnout gear 2-minute races and an old-fashioned bucket brigade race to see which team filled a water barrel first, also were part of the celebration.

Because of the Fire Department’s continuous operations, only two of the department’s three shifts could be fully represented, but family members of all three shifts were able to attend, a news release said. Next year, the event will be scheduled around the rotating shift schedule so the same shift is not inconvenienced, the release said.

Employees were honored for various career and distinguished line of duty accomplishments, and service pins were presented to those with more than 10 years of service.

Special recognition and life saving medals were presented to two crews, each of which had, on separate occasions, rescued and resuscitated a child from a near-fatal drowning accident, the release said. The crew, including Capt. Jimmy Fincher, Lt. Eddie Fucci and Firefighter/Operator John Durbin, was honored. In addition, life saving medals went to Capt. Tim Helm, Lt. Jesse Wingate and Firefighter/Operator Shea Mitchell.

The bravery medal was awarded for the first time in department history to Firefighter/Operator Jared Richardson, who was honored for diving into Bayou Manchac to rescue the occupant of a partially submerged and sinking vehicle.

Other presentations made were for outstanding performance in the line of duty. They were:

Communications Officer of the Year: Mike Musselman

Administrator of the Year: Chief of Special Services Bart Deshotel

Chief Officer of the Year: District Chief Frank Dellucky

Captain of the Year: Capt. Lee West

Lieutenant of the Year: Lt. Joe Chaney

Firefighter of the Year: Firefighter/Operator Richard Simoneaux

The Fire Chief’s Award, presented to the member who epitomizes the highest values and qualities of a St. George Firefighter, was presented to Lt. Kyle Shuford.