On Saturday, November 11, 2023, the Bay District Volunteer Fire Department gathered for its highly anticipated annual Installation of Officers and Awards Banquet. The evening, skillfully hosted by the experienced Emcee Dan Raley, unfolded seamlessly, maintaining the high standard set in previous years.
The festivities commenced with a delectable dinner provided by Rita B Catering, accompanied by the melodic tunes skillfully curated by DJ Donnie Carter. Following the satisfying meal, the officers of the department took their oath of office. The installation ceremony was graced by Patrick Hassler, President of the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association, who installed the line and executive officers. Associate officers were aptly installed by Lisa Watts, President of the Southern Maryland Volunteer Firemen’s Association Ladies Auxiliary.
The newly elected and appointed officers for the 2023/2024 term are as follows:
Line and Support Officers:
• Fire Chief: Joseph Gould
• Assistant Fire Chief: Jason Turner
• Deputy Fire Chief 3: Ryan Lockrow
• Deputy Fire Chief 9: David Martoni
• Captain 3: Anthony King
• Captain 9: Stephen Vallandingham
• Lieutenant 3: Tyler Wentworth
• Lieutenant 9: Joshua Fraizer
• Sergeant 3A: Dominic Hayward
• Sergeant 3B: Nicholas Davis
• Sergeant 9A: Richard Ollerman
• Sergeant 9B: Blake Tarleton
• Sergeant 9C: Michael Donaldson
• President: Wayne Johnson
• 1st Vice President: James Driscoll
• 2nd Vice President: Kevin Jasey
• Secretary: Thomas Eno
• Treasurer: Andrew Waikart
• Member at Large: Richard Redmond, Bruce Theden
• Special Accounts Treasurer: Stephen Stockwell
• Liaison to the Board: Joseph Zienda
• Public Information Officer: Jason Adams
• Chaplain: Keith Fairfax
After the swearing-in ceremony, President Wayne Johnson and Fire Chief Joseph Gould presented awards to deserving members. Notably, the Top Runner Awards were given to outstanding contributors at both Station 3 and Station 9, recognizing their commitment and dedication.
The Length of Service Awards acknowledged the loyalty and dedication of members, with special mentions for exemplary years of service, including Life Memberships for Shawn Downs and Tod Jackson.
It's truly remarkable and commendable that Leslie "Les" Hansen dedicated an incredible 70 years of faithful service to the community. Holding positions such as Fire Chief and President, along with various other roles, speaks volumes about Les's commitment and leadership within the organization. Such long-term dedication and multifaceted involvement highlight a deep passion for the community and the responsibilities associated with these important roles.
Recognition for 70 years of service is a testament to Les's enduring contributions and impact on the community and the organization. It's individuals like Les who form the backbone of community service, ensuring the safety and well-being of others through their selfless efforts. The community likely owes a debt of gratitude to Les for the decades of leadership, dedication, and service that have undoubtedly left a lasting legacy.
The Denny Hansen Award, recognizing exceptional contributions to the Fire Prevention Program, was rightfully bestowed upon Bruce Theden. The Associate of the Year award was deservedly earned by Marie Anne Coadic, Kathy Theden, and Diann Thompson. The prestigious Firefighter of the Year Award was granted to Anthony Pensenstadler (Company 3) and Bruce Theden (Company 9), while Mason Hewitt (Station 3) and Noah Rogers (Station 9) were recognized as Rookie of the Year.
President’s Awards were presented to Jason Adams, James Driscoll, Jeff McLane, and Jamie McLane, while the Chiefs Awards were bestowed upon Curtis King and Tyler Wentworth for their outstanding contributions.
Special Recognition Awards were extended to PJs Towing, Lexington Park Lions Club, and David Dean for their invaluable support. In addition to individual achievements, the Maryland Senate and St. Mary’s County Commissioners presented Citations to Mark Warren, Shawn Downs, Tod Jackson, and Les Hansen for their outstanding service.
The event concluded with a reminder to all members to perceive their contributions as personal accolades dedicated to the safety and well-being of their community. Each member was encouraged to make a personal commitment to meet the challenges that lie ahead.