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Journal Opinion
Bradford , Vermont
August 23, 2017     Journal Opinion
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August 23, 2017

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Page 18 JOURNAL OPINION August 23,2017 WOODSVILLE--The North Haverhill Fire Department held its 29'h annual supper raffle and steak dinner at the Robert E. Clifford Building on Aug. 19. The event recognizes several firefighters with awards, feeds several dozens of people and gives away $5,000 in prize money. NHFD Captain Shawn Bigelow was named firefighter of the year. In making the award, NHFD Fire Chief Phil Blanchard said it's all about community service. He added that rather than making the decision himself as to who was most deserving, Blanchard said he "opened it up" for all firefighters to have a say about who should receive the award. It was done by a balloting process and members were asked to write a bit about their nominee. "There was one member, one person who came up over and over and that was Shawn Bigelow," Blanchard said. The chief added that Bigelow made it to 97 percent of the 89 calls in a one year period o ftime. "And he's done that for the past 20 years." Several firefighters were given milestone year pins including Deputy Chief Preston Hatch who has served NHFD for 30 years, Peter Blanchard at 15, Travis Fadden at 10 years, and Bradley Clough and Andrew Dellinger at five years each. Special achievement awards were presented to firefighter Joe McQueeney and Evelyn "Bunny" Elms for their contributions to the fire department as well as Capt. John Bouffard for his dedication to training. The top three call responders were Hatch, Bigelow and firefighter BrandonBenoit. Phil Blanchard also received some recognition from his firefighters. McQueeney said the department appreciates the dedica- tion the new chief has brought to the office. The department admires his ability his courage, experience and his ability to balance department work, with a new family and a new job. McQueeney said the department now has a Halloween event for kids, training software that simulates fire scenarios, new equipment and a strong presence in the community. "If there's anything Phil can do for the community, he'll bring it on board," McQueeney said. "... No one knows the hours he puts in on a Sunday morning handling all the safety issues." Blanchard said he appreciates the community and department support and is pleased to continue the community service started by his predecessor Don Harmnond. With 100 raffle tickets sold, each costing $100, there were 14 cash prices totaling $5,000. The grand prize winner was Andrew Dellinger who took home $1,500. Little Rivers wins funds Washington, D.C.--The U.S. De- partment of Health and Human Services announced last week that $816,251 has been awarded to 11 health centers in Vermont as an investment in quality improvement, building upon their 2016 achieve- ments. Bradford-based Little Rivers Health Care, which also operates clinics in East Corinth and Wells River, received $40,000 for achieve- ments in patient-centered medical home recognition. Health centers will use these funds to further improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the health care delivered to the commu- nities they serve. Health centers receive these funds to continue improving their services based upon high levels of performance in one or more of the following categories: improving quality of care, increasing access to care, enhancing delivery of high value health care, addressing health disparities, and achieving patient- centered medical home recogni- tion. FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEARmNorth Haverhill Fire Department Chief Phil Blanchard (right) presents Captain Shawn Bigelow with the firefighter of the year award at the annual supper raffle on Aug. 19. COURTESY PHOTO BY JOE MCQUEENEY North Haverhill Fire Department Captain Shawn Bigelow, center, was named firefighter of the tear at North Haverhill's Super Raffle. 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