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Danville firefighter wins award of valor

A year after he helped rescue his son from a fiery automobile wreck Ray Williams was presented the Award of Valor at the annual meeting of the Morgan County Association of Volunteer Firefighters on Saturday.

A member of Danville Volunteer Fire Department for more than 20 years, Williams was cited for the emotional strength and courage he demonstrated during an emergency that involved his son, Tray, who has since recovered fully from multiple injuries he sustained in an automobile accident April 8, 2010.

Upon arriving at the wreck scene, Williams and his fellow firefighters learned that two young men had been rescued from a car before it burst into fames. At the same time they were told by the two occupants that a third person—his son Tray– was in the car with them.

Immediately, Williams grabbed the attack line from another fire fighter and began hosing down the burning vehicle, thinking his son was still inside. Moments later another fire fighter discovered that Williams’ son had been ejected and was lying on the ground unconscious some 50 feet from the burning car. Williams ran to his son and found he was still alive. Subsequently, he was airlifted by helicopter and flown to Huntsville Hospital.

Fellow firefighters expressed astonishment and pride that Williams was able to perform efficiently as a fire fighter, as he had been trained to do, under great emotional stress.

The association recognized several other firefighters for service above and beyond the call of duty, as follows: Tommy MacPherson, Brindlee Mountain, Instructor of the Year; Stephanie Hargrove, Ebenezer, Rookie of the Year; Patsy Beavers, Oden Ridge, Female EMT of the Year;

Brandon Hawkins, Male EMT of the Year; Wanda Hunt, Bethel/Gum Pond, Female Fire Fighter of the Year; Michael Caudle, Bethel/Gum Pond, Male Fire Fighter of the Year; Boone Livingston, Priceville, and Matt Segars, S.A.V.E.S., Robert J. Miller Youth Leadership Award; Kevin Worley, Boyce Walker Community Service Award; and Charles Black, Priceville, Fire Chief of the Year.

The Most Improved Department of the Year award went to Talucah Volunteer Fire Department. Priceville VFD received the Department of the Year Award and Robert Chumley, Robbie Stephenson and Kyle Stephenson each received a Citizen Humanitarian Award.