Deputy Chief Hoyte Hale Receives Smithville Fire Department Award

Smithville Volunteer Firefighter Hoyte Hale received the “Highest Attendance Award” Friday night during an appreciation dinner for city firefighters at the Smithville First United Methodist Christian Fellowship Center.
The award was presented to Hale by Smithville Fire Chief Charlie Parker.
Hale, currently deputy chief and a 30 year veteran of the department, attended 154 out of 175 calls during the year 2015. He also put in the most training hours at 136 for the year. “We only have about twenty five members in our department so it’s hard to pick a firefighter of the year from these twenty five guys because just about all of them are firefighters of the year. The officers and firefighters each do a fantastic job all year long so it makes it really tough to pick one. The biggest thing we do is give a “Highest Attendance Award” which honors the one who puts the extra commitment and dedication to get up at two o’clock in the morning and come to the calls. The “Highest Attendance Award” this year for the number of calls goes to Hoyte Hale,” said Chief Parker.
Other firefighters with high attendance responses to their credit were Lieutenant John Poss with 135 calls, Lieutenant Donnie Cantrell 134, Lieutenant Danny Poss 132, and Randall Hunt with 130 calls.
Meanwhile a new award was presented this year. Chief Parker recognized Gary Johnson for the most training hours among non-officer firefighters. He put in 50 hours of training this year.
Meanwhile city firefighters were recognized for years of service including the following:
Robin Summers: Rookie
Kim Johnson: Rookie
C.J. Tramel- 1 year
Dalton Roberts- 1 year
Cody Fults- 1 year
Bradley Johnson-1 year
Shawn Jacobs-2 years (Alderman and Auxiliary member)
Kevin Adcock- 5 years (2nd tenure with department) 16 years total
Cory Killian- 4 years
Glen Lattimore- 7 years
Stephanie Wright- 9 years
Randall Hunt- 10 years
Gary Johnson-10 years
Wallace Caldwell- (Chaplain) 11 years
Wink Brown- 17 years
Greg Bess (Photographer)- 20 years
John Poss (Lieutenant)- 24 years
Jeff Wright (Captain)- 29 years
Hoyte Hale (Deputy Chief)- 30 years
Donnie Cantrell (Lieutenant)- 35 years
Danny Poss (Lieutenant)- 35 years
Charles Parker (Chief)- 35 years.
Chaplain Wallace Caldwell briefly spoke offering words of encouragement. He read “Take Time for Ten Things”:
1. Take time to work–it is the price of success.
2. Take time to think– it is the source of power.
3. Take time to play–it is the secret of youth
4. Take time to read– it is the foundation of knowledge.
5. Take time to worship–it is the highway of reverence and washes the dust of earth from our eyes.
6. Take time to help and enjoy fiends– it is the source of happiness.
7. Take time to love– it is the one sacrament of life.
8. Take time to dream– it hitches the soul to the stars.
9. Take time to laugh–it is the singing that helps with life’s loads.
10. Take time to plan– it is the secret of being able to have time to take time for the first nine things.
Chaplain Caldwell also read the following poem by Robert H. Smith:
“The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
To lose one’s wealth is sad indeed,
To lose one’s health is more,
To lose one’s soul is such a loss
That no man can restore.”
“The short time it took me to read these 53 words 39 people died. Every hour 5,417 people go out to meet their maker. You could have been among them. Sooner or later you will be. With that I would like to leave you with a question I ask. Are you ready?” Caldwell concluded.
In addition to the firefighters and their spouses, the event was attended by Mayor Jimmy Poss and Aldermen Jason Murphy, Danny Washer, Gayla Hendrix, Josh Miller and Shawn Jacobs and members of their families. City officials expressed appreciation to the firefighters for the work they do and their commitment to helping improve the operation of the fire department to keep residents safer.

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