By H. Jamar, Special to the News.
The American Legion JE Lanier Post 27 recently honored Richmond Hill Fire Department 2021 Firefighter of the Year Parker Simpson.
Simpson was introduced to Post 27 by Capt. Joshua Johnson who credited Simpson's can do attitude, his teamwork, his hard work ethics, and his resilience to the sometimes-cruel hardships of the job.
“Firefighter Simpson is always there, always focused, and ready to do his job," Johnson said. "These are things you expect from guys with many years on the job. He is trained and qualified beyond his three years with the department, which he joined at the age of 19.”
After the presentation of the Certificate of Public Service, Simpson told the members, “I am honored to receive this recognition, since being a firefighter is all I’ve ever wanted to do. I am blessed that I was able to start at age 19and look for this to be a long career here in Richmond Hill. Thank you all for this award.”
Post Commander John Ellis Sr. added, “We are proud to recognize the excellence in public service represented by firefighter Simpson's service to the citizens of Richmond Hill; and very pleased he is the first of what is to become a series of Public Service Awards that will include law enforcement and emergency medical personnel for both City and County officers. Many of us recognize these jobs hold many of the issues that parallel our combat service. Often it is hours or days of routine interspersed with moments that require a focused intensity and a trained response to the danger presented and for the lives at risk.”
Commander Ellis also noted, “We consider recognizing selfless public service a vital part of what we do here in Richmond Hill. So as our Post revitalizes while the pandemic winds down, we wanted to bring some public recognition to those who were there for us during our biggest times of need. I thought it is important enough to appoint legionnaire Kate Barker as our Vice Commander for Public Service Recognition. She is tasked to seek nominations from law enforcement, and public safety departments to identify candidates for this type of recognition. She has started off with a great nominee and I am looking forward to her work in this endeavor.”
The American Legion Post 27 meets at the Senior Citizens Center on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.. If you are a veteran interested in attending the meeting, please come, you will be welcomed. If you are interested in joining the American Legion, please contact Commander Ellis at firstname.lastname@example.org.