Hinkleys saluted for volunteerism

Grand Gorge — Grand Gorge Fire Department members held their annual dinner at the Grand Gorge Firehouse on Saturday, March 27. The event began with an informal get-together where members and invited guests discussed what their departments were involved in during the 2009 year. Over 300 pictures scrolled on a projected screen highlighting the year’s events.
The program began with President Jim Hull welcoming guests which included: Marty Finch, Roxbury Fire Department; Jim Dymond, Prattsville Fire Department; Waylon Robinson, Conesville Fire Department and Bud Lombardo and Carl Fancher, Conesville Rescue Squad; Don VanEtten, Stamford Fire Department and Rick Pritchard, Stamford Rescue Squad. He also announced the 2010 slate of officers: Chief DJ Speenburgh, 1st Assistant Chief Wink Hinkley, 2nd Assistant Chief Mike Dorrance, Captains: Ed Docskalik and Josh Ernst, President Jim Hull, Vice President Dan Ballard, Secretary Dan Pickett, Treasurer Jack VanValkenburgh, Stewards, Gene and Deb Brainerd and Karen Speenburgh. EMS Co-Captains Karen Hinkley and Dottie Carroll, EMS Lieutenant Bill Schryver, President Tammie Wyckoff.
Chief DJ Speenburgh gave a brief rundown of fire responses noting that most responses were for motor vehicle accidents but also mentioned calls for structure and brush fires, lines down, road obstructions, flooding, mutual aid, etc. Years of Service pins were presented to the following: 25 years, Gene Brainerd, 20 years, Jim Hull and Mike Dorrance, 10 years, DJ Speenburgh and Betsy Bussiere. A special recognition was given to Hank Gockel Jr. for successfully completing Firefighter I training during 2009.
EMS Co-Captain Dottie Carroll provided the 2009 stats for rescue squad responses indicating that most calls were for general illness emergencies with respiratory problems and trauma/MVA calls rounding out the top three reasons people called 911. Fifty-nine percent of emergency responses were during the daytime and 30 percent of calls during evening hours with the balance early morning.
We welcomed four new members in the squad who have recently completed their Basic EMT training, Patricia Williamson, Susan Maye and Mike and Krista Cross. Current member, Tammie Wyckoff, also completed the EMT training.
Years of service pins were presented to Laurel VanAken and Susan Dorrance for 10 years of service respectively. Tammie Wyckoff was recognized for her continuous support responding to many calls in 2009.
It was a special night for a Grand Gorge couple who were recognized by the Grand Gorge Rescue Squad. Wink and Karen Hinkley were honored for their service, leadership and commitment to the Grand Gorge Rescue Squad. Rescue squad members extended their deep appreciation to Wink as he is always there when needed. He responded to over 60 calls and was often first on the scene to help. His genuine concern for the sick and injured is always evident as he often puts patients at ease during very stressful times. As a driver, his helpful nature makes him a valuable asset to the squad members as well as those in the community needing the emergency assistance.
Since 1981, our nation has recognized the month of March to celebrate the contributions made by women. Dottie Carroll, Co-Captain of the Grand Gorge Rescue Squad exclaimed, “I am honored to recognize the countless and unselfish acts of one of our women serving our community currently as an EMT on our Rescue Squad, Karen Hinkley. As a volunteer member, her contribution to our squad has been compelling. It has been my observation firsthand, that the Grand Gorge Rescue Squad is truly a better service provider today in part especially because of Karen who has this special calling to serve her community. Almost everyday, she is engaged in EMS and the many operations it entails. She has served as a Grand Gorge Rescue Squad officer making significant life safety contributions as a proven leader and forward thinking manager. We are proud to recognize her efforts for our squad.”
Wink and Karen have three children and nine grandchildren.