Leroy Marquez named Summerdale Volunteer Firefighter of the Year

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 1/27/21

SUMMERDALE - Captain Leroy Marquez was named the Summerdale Volunteer Firefighter of the Year during the January council. He was presented his award by Woody Kicklighter, Interim Chief and Derrick …

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Leroy Marquez named Summerdale Volunteer Firefighter of the Year

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SUMMERDALE - Captain Leroy Marquez was named the Summerdale Volunteer Firefighter of the Year during the January council. He was presented his award by Woody Kicklighter, Interim Chief and Derrick Givens, Interim Assistant Chief. His family was in attendance.

Prior to the award ceremony, Kicklighter and Givens passed on their words and thoughts to volunteer firefighter Tiffany Givens, who read them to the audience during the presentation.

“We have an awesome group of people at Summerdale Volunteer Fire Department, who all work together with one common goal - service,” she read. “The chiefs said there’s more to being a firefighter than responding. Leroy stays with a call from the minute the page goes out until all the work is done … Sometimes our calls are five minutes long, and sometimes our calls are five hours long. Leroy never complains about being tired, he never complains about having to do work on a scene, he never complains about coming back to the station to complete that work. He might work all day, go to a fire call, work on the end of a hose for hours, and then come back to the station and wash the same hoses he worked with.”

Marquez has years of experience, both in a classroom and hands-on. During 2020, he responded to 192 of the 376 calls the department received. During a call, he often assumes the role of Incident Command Officer, taking on full command at a fire scene and becoming the primary communication with dispatch. As one of the department’s training officers, he backs up the other volunteers, explaining why things are done a certain way while continuing to learn more himself.

The Summerdale Volunteer Fire Department continues to grow after undergoing a change in leadership in 2019. Due to that growth, the department will soon see a larger fire station in a location central to reaching town and the Baldwin Beach Express. Currently, town officials and Fire Department heads are coordinating with the architect on the blueprints. The future station will be located at the southwest corner of Highways 73 and 32. For more information, visit www.summerdaleal.com.