Chief Sills recognizes Firefighters with service awards, promotions and badge presentation

By Blake Schnitker on September 12 at 10:24am

Several members of the Jacksonville Fire Department were recognized during a ceremony at last night’s Jacksonville City Council meeting.

Following a 9/11 ceremony on the downtown square, Jacksonville Fire Chief Doug Sills honored several of the department’s personnel at the beginning of last night’s meeting.

Before getting into the specific members of the fire department, Sills thanked Jacksonville Police Chief Adam Mefford and Morgan County ESDA Director Phil McCarty for their work in helping the fire department.

Chief Sills started by recognizing Gary Hayes, who recently retired from the fire department after 20 years of service. Hayes retired as the department’s driver engineer and spent many years working with the firefighters union working on fundraising projects. Also recognized for their recent retirement was Gary Knapp, who spent more than 24 years with the department and retired as a long-time hoseman.

Captain Beth Kershaw was also given a service award for her 25 years with the Jacksonville Fire Department. Among those receiving a promotion was Curt Rueter, who after 10 years with the department, was promoted to driver engineer.

Lastly, Chief Sills recognized Ricky Padilla as the newest member of the department as he transitioned from a probationary firefighter to a Jacksonville Firefighter.