BALLINGER– Duty, honor and courage, and 35 years serving the Ballinger and Runnels County community as a volunteer fireman were recognized last Saturday, November 10, when Melvin Ischar was awarded 2012 Fireman of the Year, at the Ballinger Fire Department Annual Awards Banquet.

New officers for the year were announced at the ceremony, held at the Ballinger Fire Department Annex Building, and the Service Teamwork and Pride Awards, created to recognize those who give their time unselfishly were also presented.

Those recognized with the STP awards were: Robert Langston, Cathy Landers, Clyde Kresta, Dustin Kresta, Shane Landers, Clemente Mata, Jr., Todd Clary, Jonathan Nord, Tony Harral, Donald McAfee and Brent Allen.

The Ballinger Fire Department responded to 64 calls during the year. A record number of 12 of those calls were structure fires.

The Fire Department also presented the Service Awards. Those receiving awards were: Melvin Ischar, 35 years; Ken Kvapil, 25 years; Courtney Ischar, 10 years; Dustin Kresta, 5 years, and Sponsor Cassie  Ischar. The Fireman of the Year was presented by City Mayor Sam Mallory.

Receiving training certificates for a 40-hour wild land firefighting class at Texas A&M were Cathy Landers, Robert Langston, Jonathan Nord, Clemente Mata, Jr., Donald McAfee, and Dustin Kresta. The Ballinger Fire Department will be certifying 10 brand new certified firefighters 1 and 2 once they complete the four modules of the certification program.

Officers for the new year were named: Jonathan Nord, President; Todd Clary, Vice President; Brent Allen, Secretary and Treasurer; Clyde Kresta, Fire Chief and Fire Marshall; David Dunn, Chaplain; Ballinger Memorial Hospital, Physician; Tyler Lange, Sponsor, and Mascot Mikayla Clary.