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South Kitsap Fire and Rescue presents awards during annual banquet
Paramedic Ken Laha was named “Outstanding Member of the Year” during South Kitsap Fire and Rescue’s annual Fire Banquet on Feb. 23 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton.
About 100 people attended the event.
Deputy Chief Mike Wernet said recipients were nominated by their peers who complete a nominations form, including why the person has been nominated and includes three character traits that describe the nominee. The forms were then sent to a committee made up of the previous year’s winners who select the winners.
“Once the winners have been chosen they are sent to the fire chief who reviews the winners and chooses one of them as the Outstanding Member of the Year,” he stated.
Laha was recognized for his charter trait of compassion for “investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurt of others.”
He was also named the Career Paramedic of the Year and recognized for his benevolence because of his “giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.”
Other award recipients and character traits recognized were:
Intern of the Year: Stephen Lacheney; Initiative – Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
Volunteer Support Services Member of the Year: Eric Torrison; Wisdom – Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.
Volunteer Firefighter of the Year: Jon Andrzejewski; Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
Volunteer Officer of the Year: Lt. Terry Lerma; Responsibility – Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
Career Support Services Member of the Year: Dawn Salters; Initiative – Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
Career Firefighter of the Year: Ryan Auston; Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
Career Officer of the Year: Battalion Commander Mike Wernet; Orderliness – Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
During the banquet, members of the departments enjoyed social time, viewed a year in review video and speeches by the chiefs.