Manila firemen honored with retirement party

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
William Barnhart (left) and Larry Towell were among the Manila Volunteer Firemen to retire. (photo provided)

Manila firefighters honored three members of the Manila Volunteer Fire Department on Thursday, May 4, with a retirement party. A steak dinner was held at Big Lake Country Club.

Retirees included Alvin Routon, 20 years; William Barnhart, 31 years; and Larry Towell, 13 years. Towell retired early due to medical reasons. Routon was unable to attend.

Each received an appreciation plaque for the time they have given to the citizens of Manila and the surrounding area.

"We appreciate all of the members of the Fire Department," Carroll Towell, said. Towell has been a volunteer firefighter for 38 years.

"Members of the department are like a brotherhood," Towell said. "I know without a doubt if I ever needed help, I could call on any one of them and they would be there."

The firefighters spend a lot of time training and preparing for the job they do as volunteer firefighters.

"A rescue unit and a First Responder team have been added to the department," Towell said. "It is good for the community. I am thrilled to have them. There are times when our ambulance is out of town and the First Responders may be the first on the scene to help. Two of our first responders, Kelly Field and Tommy Dillon, recently completed an EMT course."

Towell expressed the department's appreciation to Big Lake Country Club and staff for their assistance in making the retirement dinner a success.

The three retiring firefighters join a list of dedicated men who have served their communities well for a combined 476 years.

The retiree list of Manila firefighters includes:

Bud Jolliff -- 1936-1959.

A.W. Smith 1946-1962.

A.A. Tipton 1944-1964.

Bud McWhirter 1945-1966.

Wayne McCullough 1947-1967.

Bud Wortham 1947--1967.

Bill Vermillion 1948-1968.

C.M. Byrd 1952-1968.

Arthur Rogers 1961-1971.

Jack Tipton 1951--1970.

Tommy Vassar 1965-1981.

Jonnie Cullins 1960-1982.

Don Hampton 1967-1993.

Jim "Hardrock" Henry 1973-1993.

Glenn Henry -- 1962-1993.

Bobby White -- 1963-1997.

Donnie Wagner 1972-1997.

Phil Vassar 1981-2003.

Allen McCullough 1970--2001.

Alvin Routon 1985--2005.

William Barnhart 1975-2006.

Larry Towell 1993--2006.

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