WARSAW — The annual Kosciusko County Fireman’s Association Fish Fry, held every September, is an event that is anticipated each year by firefighters throughout the county. This year was no exception.
Matt Cohagan, Mentone Fire Department, was named the 2017 County Fireman of the Year and Mark Hughes was named the 2017 County Service Award recipient. Additionally, former Milford firefighter, Tim Conley, was recognized by the Milford Fire Department for going above and beyond the call of duty, when stopping at an accident scene in Wabash County Jan. 22, involving a Milford firefighter.
The awards were presented Thursday evening, Sept. 21, at the county fireman’s association meeting/fish fry.
Cohagan, who has been with the Mentone Fire Department since September 1997, has served in many capacities for the department and is a current county fire officer. According to his nomination, he was instrumental in the county burn program, tornado relief in the Kokomo area last year and Indiana Sesquicentennial breakfast programs. He has also created or assisted with other programs along with being instrumental with the county communications upgrade and securing a spot on the Rochester Telephone Company tower for a repeater system. “Everyone is aware of his boundless energy and interest to the fire service and community service in general,” his nominator wrote.
Hughes, a member of the Mentone Fire Department since February 1992, has been an active member of the department, serving as an emergency medical technician for an area ambulance service for many years. “He works hard to keep things running smooth and good decisions are made,” his nominator wrote. It was also noted he has attended chiefs meetings to share his expertise in matters relating to dispatch and communications. His excellence attendance in department meetings/events and county meetings was also noted.
Milford Fire Department recognized Conley with his award. Conley, who with his family, were heading to Indianapolis for a family event when he happened upon an accident on SR 15 near CR 400N in Wabash County. Conley, who was the first responder at the scene, stopped and checked the occupants of the first vehicle and then went to the second vehicle, which was overturned. Initially he was unaware the patient was a fellow Milford firefighter, Kevin Walker. He stayed with Walker until he was airlifted to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
Kevin McSherry, county fire association president, encouraged other departments who wished to recognize members for actions to do so at a county meeting in front of their peers.
Other recognitions were made during the event. Awards were given out to winners of the annual fireman’s bass tournament, to raise funds for the Hoosier Burn Camp, and service pins were presented by John Grouch, chairman of District 5 Indiana Volunteer Fireman’s Association.
There were 55 firefighters recognized for service between 10 to 24 years and 23 firefighters recognized for service for 25 plus years.