The Murrells Inlet-Garden City Fire Department honored its own during its annual awards ceremony on Dec. 1.
Capt. Rodney Jewett, who is retiring Dec. 31 with 23 years of service, earned the career Firefighter of the Year award while Dennis Brogna garnered Volunteer of the Year honors.
Jewett, who joined the MIGC department in October 1995, also won the Firefighter of the Year award in 2012.
When Jewett joined the department, it was strictly a firefighting unit and he was hired as a firefighter/engineer. In June 1996, he was promoted to engineer after less than a year on the job. He became a lieutenant in January 2000 and attained his current rank in November 2004.
Jewett oversees the department’s water rescue team.
Brogna, known for his booming “How you doing?” comment, joined the fire department in 1998 after a two-year stint as a trainer for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. He’s split his firefighting duties with training duties for minor league baseball and hockey clubs throughout the United States. He is also a former athletic trainer for Carvers Bay High School in Georgetown County.
Fire Chief Norman Knight praised the man and women of the department.
“I can tell you that if you are hurt in an accident, these are the people who you want to see,” Knight said. “Every single man and woman here cares about the community and the people they serve.”
Five people were honored for 10 years of service with the department and five received awards for five years with the department, which serves an area from the northern boundary of Brookgreen Gardens to the Surfside Beach town boundary, and from the coast to beyond Blackmoor.
Lt. Daniel Richards, engineer paramedic John Mocarski, and front office personnel Joyce Calk, Noni Sauls and Debbie Fry have 10 years of service. Lt. Jim Edbrooke, firefighter/paramedics Tony Starke and Jason Gibson and front office staff Carol Orlando and Teresa Solomon have five years.
Barb Doyle, who oversees the front desk volunteers, received a special award for her service to the department. Doyle is retiring this year. “Anybody who is looking for a position will have some serious work to do to equal her effort,” Knight said.