By JOSH NEWTON
Tahlequah firefighters honored a fallen brother last week during their annual banquet and memorial service.
Fire Chief Ray Hammons said the department lit a candle and had the ringing of the bell – a “last alarm” – in honor of the late Bob Ed Culver.
“We pay special remembrances every year for all those firefighters who have paved the way for us to get to where we are today,” said Hammons.
Firefighter Cody Nissen was also honored with the Nick Purkey Award, formally known as the Firefighter of the Year honor.
The award was renamed in honor of Purkey several years ago.
“It’s the highest honor we give out,” said Hammons. “Firefighters vote and choose somebody who demonstrates the love of the service and the dedication to the department. They show up at all of the events and have a true love for it. They show up to help at crashes, fires, public education activities, and they look after fellow firefighters who might be in need of some assistance. That’s just the type of person Nick Purkey was. He put the department before himself constantly, and was always willing to lend a hand and step up to the plate in true firefighter fashion.”