The road to the Governor's Cup continues to run through Smyrna as Citizens' Hose Company brought home the award Saturday after the Delaware Volunteer Firefighters Association parade for the 33rd time. The honor goes to the top marching unit with music.
Smyrna also brought home awards for Best Miss Fire Prevention [Jenna Scuse], best brush truck, best ladder, best rescue, best tanker, second best antique for 'Old Mom,' second best non-school band, best color guard, and third best pumper 1985 to the present.
Fire Chief Isaac Hankins said the win was special for him since it's his first year winning the award as fire chief.
"I work with a great group of guys," Hankins said. "I'm proud to say I'm the chief of this department."
Citizens' Hose Company President Chris Hudson said winning the Governor's Cup never gets old, and it takes pride, dedication, tradition and commitment to win it each year.
"That's what separates us from other fire departments in the state," Hudson said. "They have every opportunity to do what we do and they don't do it."
Both Hankins and Hudson said having the support of the community means a lot, and they enjoy having the residents come out to help celebrate the win. They especially like driving down Main Street back to the fire department and seeing all the residents coming out of their homes to cheer on the firefighters.
When asked what drives the fire department to keep doing this year after year, Hankins said they "can't not do it."
"We don't know what else to do," Hudson added.
Hankins and Hudson thanked everyone for the support, Joe and Shirley Sheridan for allowing the department to do the celebratory speeches in front of their pub, and Sudlersville and Chestertown fire department for covering the company during the parade and celebration.
"They kept our district safe the entire time," Hankins said.
Miss Fire Prevention Jenna Scuse said it was great winning her Best Appearing Award. She had won it in previous years in her other fire prevention titles better this is her first year winning for Miss Fire Prevention.
Other good news on the week for Citizens' Hose Company was the induction of Citizens' Hose Company member Gerald Mood into the Delaware Volunteer Firefighter Associations Hall of Fame.
Honorary member Mike Rush was named the state Fireman of the Year by DVFA.
Clayton making its own tradition
The Clayton Fire Company has won the top award for best appearing marching unit without music about 20 times, according to Fire Chief Robbie Johnson. For the ninth year in a row, Clayton brought home the award again on Saturday.
"It's a great accomplishment," Johnson said. "It's humbling to be the leaders of this company."
Johnson contributes the success of the department at the parade to the pride of department members. He said the department has been preparing for weeks.
Clayton Fire Company also had the third best color guard and third best pumper/rescue truck.
Company president Samuel Sawyer said the dedication of the fire company members makes what the department does every day easier.
"Together each and every member has a purpose they take very seriously," he said. "The members make the leadership. We wouldn't be as good without them."
Earlier in the week cadet firefighter John Barkley Jr. was honored with the Meritorious Award by DVFA for Barkley's lifesaving CPR on a four-year-old drowning victim earlier this year.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.