MOULTRIE — Colquitt County has a premier volunteer firefighting network, a system that has grown from meager beginnings more than three decades ago. And this past year, training capabilities were greatly enhanced by courses offered at Moultrie Technical College.

And the Colquitt County Volunteer Fire Association (CCVFA) gathered Saturday night to honor and recognize its members.

The CCVFA held its annual banquet at the Colquitt County Agricultural Complex, provided by sponsorship from Cobb Funeral Chapel. Due to weather concerns, however, the scheduled Air Evac speakers were unable to attend the banquet.

Despite the absence of a speaker, the CCVFA still honored some of its newly trained members.

A total of 14 volunteer firefighters were recognized for completing various levels of training, and CCVFA President Bo Sprunger said he was pleased to have so many complete training this year. He said the 14 completed their training through courses at Moultrie Technical College, which had not been available until this year.

In addition to the firefighters completing training, the CCVFA also recognized its First Responder of the Year. CRMC Ambulance Service Director Amy McMillan presented this year’s award to Tyler Maples.

She praised all First Responders for what they do.

“You not only help out EMS,” McMillan said, “you give the patient a chance to live and get better.”

After giving away a few door prizes, Sprunger thanked the spouses of volunteer firefighters for their commitment.

He said volunteer firefighters give up a lot in this service, and he expressed his gratitude to the spouses for allowing them to continue to volunteer.

“It means a lot to us to allow your spouses to take the time away from home,” Sprunger said.

“Thank you very much, and be patient with them because we really need them.”

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