2012 Guemes Heroes

       The Guemes Island Fire Department, in conjunction with Guemes Connects and Guemes Island CERT, proudly honored the following everyday heroes at our annual Guemes Heroes Banquet on Saturday, April 14, 2012.  These are very special people who give of themselves in ways we should all cherish and celebrate.  Guemes Island Hero Awards of Excellence were given out to the following recipients:

  • Lora Stamper
    • Lora began requesting that the Guemes Island Fire Department create a Junior Firefighter program when she turned 14.  After several years of being lobbied, Chief Stamper relented and the program we now have stumbled into being with Lora as our first recruit.  In many ways, she was a guinea pig for the program and contributed to the development of policies and guidelines that would eventually be the foundation of a very successful program for both the department and the community.  As a junior, Lora trained alongside the full members of the department and responded to calls.  She earned her Red Card in wildland firefighting 2010.  She completed her two years as a Junior Firefighter in August, 2011, and became a full member of the department's volunteer ranks at that time.
  • Alexander Woofenden
    • Alexander joined the department in the fall of 2009, becoming the second member of our Junior Firefighter Program.  Like Lora, Alexander contributed to the evolution of the policies and guidelines for the program.  He completed his service as a Junior in April, 2011, and became a full member of the department.  He has since completed Red Card wildland training, Firefighter 1 Academy, EMT training, and is working on becoming a member of our high angle technical rescue team.
  • Guemes Island Fire Department EMS Team
    • On August 20, 2011, the Guemes Island Fire Department responded to a possible heart attack at the ferry landing.  Upon arrival, the patient was conscious, but rapidly declined and became pulseless.  The EMS team sprang into action performing CPR and shocking the patient three times with an automatic electronic defibrillator.  The patient revived and survived after transport to the hospital and subsequent treatment.  Saves of this type are very rare and reflect the level of training and commitment the department's entire EMS team consistently demonstrates.
  • Susan Rombeek
    • Susan is one of those everyday heroes who can frequently be found helping out her neighbors.  She works with Guemes Connects, the Guemes Island Library, and volunteers on the Guemes Gold Scholarship Committee.  She is humble about her contributions to the community, which only makes us more appreciative of her service.
  • Gail Nicolls
    • It seems like every year, Gail's name comes up as a Guemes Hero.  She founded the Guemes Island Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the mid 1990's.  Since that time, she has continued to serve as the leader of this important island organization putting in countless hours creating guidebooks, making phone calls, running meetings...the list goes on.  CERT has become a valuable asset to the island as well as being the eyes and ears of the fire department during island emergencies involving weather and other calamities.
  • Lorraine Francis
    • Described by a fellow volunteer as being "everywhere," Lorraine has become the heart and soul of Guemes Connects over the past few years.  The Guemes Island Fire Department has come to know her as "Chief Chef."  Lorraine is the driving force behind The Gathering every Thursday, and can be found in the kitchen at many island events.
  • Jack Fees
    • Jack recently completed his tenure as a Guemes Island Fire Department Commissioner.  He was always approachable as a Commissioner and had an upbeat approach to problem solving that put his fellow islanders and members of the department at ease.
  • Jim Dugan
    • Jim began supporting the efforts of the Guemes Island Fire Department nearly two decades ago.  He  became a fire commissioner in 1995, serving until the fall of 2011. Jim was very active as a commissioner, often spending his own money to see to it that necessary improvements in service happened.  He volunteered time at the department helping to improve and maintain the facilities and apparatus throughout his tenure.  Under Jim's continuing leadership, the department modernized nearly all of its apparatus, and underwent a change in the operations from a traditional volunteer organization to a modern fire department with high expectations for training and participation.