Communities have certain needs and having excellent first responders is a major and important asset.
The local VFW Post 4491 has been honoring men and women of the Fire Department, EMS and Police Force for the last few years, annually choosing one person from each to show their appreciation.
Submissions of persons are given to the VFW and one is chosen from each for Policeman of the Year, Firefighter of the Year and EMS Worker of the Year.
Deputy Jeffrey M. Bryant was chosen as Police Deputy of the Year for the Craig County Sheriff’s Office.
The person who nominated him wrote, “Deputy Bryant joined the Department on December 1, 2017. He started the Cardinal Criminal Justice Academy in Salem, Virginia, in January of 2018 and graduated that May. He has continued to excel at the Sheriff’s Office and has become certified in courtroom security and civil process.”
The person continued, “Deputy Bryant has a strong work ethic and is very proactive in keeping the community safe as he actively promotes highway safety for travelers in response to calls for service as well. Deputy Bryant is also a member of the New Castle Volunteer Fire Department and can be seen responding for fire calls in his off times as well as assisting on fire department calls while on duty with the Sheriff’s Office. He is an asset to the Craig County Sheriff’s Office and our community.”
“I would like to say thank you to the citizens of Craig County and the membership of the VFW for presenting me with this award. It truly means a lot,” said Deputy Bryant.
Chief Darryl Humphreys was chosen as the EMT of the Year.
Humphreys first became a Virginia and National EMT in the early 1980s at Craig County Volunteer Rescue Squad. He has remained an active EMS responder to the citizens of Craig County and currently is the chief of our existing career rescue squad. Since that time, Humphreys has continued his EMS education certifications to become a cardiac technician and now an advanced life support Virginia intermediate ALS provider.
As the number of volunteer EMS providers dwindled and Craig County had the need to ensure 24/7 coverage, Humphreys became the significant and important member of the Craig County government’s career agency. He then progressed to the position of chief of that agency. Humphreys has supervised the staffing and equipment needs of the career agency while maintaining and coordinating coverage as available by the volunteer Rescue Squad.
“During this time, Humphreys has also been an active member of Craig County New Castle Volunteer Fire Department,” read his submission. “He has served as the Craig County Infectious Control Officer for the past seven years and currently is assigned full-time work activities to coordinate Craig County’s response to the pandemic event created back over 19. I think Daryl is very deserving of this reward.”
“I was very honored to receive this award from the VFW and so appreciative that the VFW does this award yearly for Craig County First Responders,” Humphreys shared. “I want to thank all the veterans for their services to our country. I would like to let the citizens know I have been proud to serve them in their time of need and will continue to do.”
Calin Crush was chosen as the Firefighter of the Year.
“Calin is an active member of the New Castle Volunteer Fire Department, currently serving at the rank of captain,” read his submission. “He first joined the Department in 2005 as a junior member and has repeatedly proven himself as an asset to the community. Calin studied Fire Sciences at Virginia Western Community College and has completed the training at the firefighter 1 and firefighter 2 levels as well as achieving numerous other certifications during his time in the fire service.”
Crush has responded to all types of calls and has shown himself to be a resourceful and dependable firefighter and leader on the fireground. He is always willing to perform duty tasks at the Department and to volunteer additional time for extra assignments as they arise. Calin has worked on several of these assignments during this past year which has helped the Department grow through these difficult recent months.
Said Crush, “It was an honor. Definitely, a very nice achievement to receive, and as a fourth family member to be a volunteer firefighter, something to be proud of. There has been a lot of ups and downs in the 16 years I have volunteered for this small community, which in part is why I’ve grown fond of this town. Made a lot of friends in this service that are more like family, both fire, EMS and law enforcement. I hope I can continue to serve this community as they deserve.”
Each person was awarded an embossed certificate from the VFW, presented by Billy Lee, VFW Post 4491 Post Commander and a gift card.
“It is good to live in a county where First Responders and police have your back,” Lee said. “You can count on them to be there when you call.”