Weekend picnic honors first responders

Fire Chief Monroe Salsman, center, of the Indian Creek Volunteer Fire Department accepts a certificate of appreciation from the Cooke County Republican Women, presented by master of ceremonies Pauline Lesch, left, and State Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster).

First responders from Cooke County were honored at a picnic hosted by the Cooke County Republican Women on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Leonard Park in Gainesville.

The event marked the observance of Texas First Responders Day, officially recognized in Texas on Sept. 11. It was open to the public, which was invited to express their respect and appreciation for the first responders who serve county residents and visitors, according to a CCRW press release.

County Judge Jason Brinkley, Emergency Management Coordinator/Fire Marshal Ray Fletcher, Sheriff Terry Gilbert and Emergency Medical Services Chief Kevin Grant addressed the audience at the beginning of the program, speaking about the level of coordination and partnership that exists among area first responders, the release stated.

Law enforcement departments recognized included the highway patrol, the sheriff’s department, and police departments from the cities of Gainesville, Lindsay, Oak Ridge, Muenster and Valley View, as well as the Gainesville ISD Police Department and the NCTC Police Department.

Fire departments included Gainesville Fire-Rescue and the volunteer fire departments of Callisburg, Era, Indian Creek, Lindsay, Moss Lake, Muenster, Myra, North Shore, Rosston and Valley View. A member of the Muenster VFD, State Rep. Drew Springer and five VFD fire chiefs spoke about the challenges they face and the dedication of their volunteers.

The third group of first responders honored included Cooke County EMS, which serves the entire county in cooperation with all of the law enforcement and fire departments, under the lead of the 911 operators and emergency dispatchers at the sheriff’s department. Effective Sept. 1, 911 operators and dispatchers are also officially recognized as first responders by the state of Texas.

For more information about the Cooke County Republican Women, visit their Facebook page or their website at www.cookegop.com/ccrw.

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