The nearly 80 Palisade volunteer fire fighters, EMS (Emergency Medical Services) officials, and retirees, plus family, friends, and co-workers, were recognized Feb. 28 at the annual Palisade Fire Department member appreciation banquet at the Wine Country Inn.

Members of the Palisade Rural Fire Protection District board and guests were also recognized.  Mayor Roger Granat and his wife Marie were recognized, along with town trustees and guests.  Palisade Chamber of Commerce Director Juliann Adams and her husband Dan were recognized, as were representatives of the media.

Fire Chief Richard Rupp was master of ceremonies, along with Joe White, who was recently named EMS Chief.  The presentations of plaques and certificates were accompanied by expressions of appreciation as well as jokes and laughter.

Six presented plaques

Zach Adams received the Firefighter of the Year award, Bill Hokanson was named Rookie of the Year, Matt Childs was recognized as EMS Provider of the Year, Hokanson was also recognized as the Safe Driver of the Year, Childs was also recognized for the 54 patient care reports (PCR) prepared in the year, and Kelby Eslava was recognized as Safe Transporter of the Year.

The event invocation was offered by Assistant Chief Mike Lorsung, who also provided words of thanks.

The printed program included a message from fire department members:  “A special thanks to family, friends and co-workers associated with our department members.

“Your support and understanding contribute to our success, allowing our department to achieve goals necessary in meeting the objectives of our Mission Statement.  We greatly appreciate all your contributions and assistance which motivates our lives.”


The program also contained the department’s mission statement:  “… is to protect the lives and property of the citizens and visitors of the town of Palisade and the Rural Fire Protection District in the safest manner possible.”

As a team, the program adds, the mission will be accomplished by:  “Providing aggressive fire protection and emergency medical services to the community, providing quality prevention and education programs to the citizens we serve,” and, “Working with other public safety agencies to enhance our abilities and better serve our community.”

The dinner is held on the last Saturday of February.


Kelby Eslava (right) was named 2014 Safe Transporter of the Year at the annual firefighters appreciation banquet at the Wine Country Inn.  Fire Chief Richard Rupp, master of ceremonies, presented a plaque to Eslava.


Bill Hokanson (left) was named 2014 Rookie of the Year at the Feb. 28 firefighters appreciation banquet.  Fire Chief Richard Rupp presented a plaque to Hokanson.