Graham firefighters recognized at city council meeting
Graham city council members began their meeting Tuesday night with a series of recognitions of Graham firemen who had achieved special designations for their service to the city in 2022.
Among those recognized were Rookie Firefighter of the Year Maison Mayton, who was unable to be present.
Dennis Bullis, a 44-year veteran volunteer who is now retiring, was recognized as the department’s Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.
Career Firefighter of the Year Matthew Bradsher was also recognized; Bradsher has been with the Graham Fire Department for two years.
Captain Kevin Squires was recognized as the Firefighter of the Year.
Chaplain Darryl Peebles, who has served for 20 years, was given the Chief’s Award, an award selected personally by fire chief Tommy Cole; the other awards are based on votes by their peers.
Peebles noted that he had been inspired by a New York City firefighter chaplain who was one of the first to have died in the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 to enlist and help.
Chief Cole also recognized four firefighters who had made two life-saving CPR calls during 2022: Matthew Bradsher, Clay Davis, Chris Stokes, and Kevin Squires; they are pictured below with Graham mayor Jennifer Talley and Graham fire chief Tommy Cole.
Cole noted that the Graham Fire Department responded to 2,441 calls during 2022 – 816 fire calls and 1,625 medical calls. There were 23 structure fires and 167 motor vehicle accidences, and 47 cases of cardiac arrest.
Also on hand Tuesday night were Vic and Joanne Pate of Graham; Vic Pate was a living example of the success of first responders. He apparently suffered a heart attack on the interstate early last month.
First on the scene were highway patrol senior troopers Caleb Kirby and John Eberle, both of whom are based in Alamance County, who were subsequently joined by Graham firefighters on the scene; all were on hand with the Pates Tuesday night.
Also involved were Graham fire captain Jason Cook as well as fire chief Tommy Cole.
Mayor Jennifer Talley noted that the Pate recognition “was a good story with a happy ending.”