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2024 Annual Banquet

SHAES Recognizes Members with Awards

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A firefighter’s career of professionalism and service to the community is being recognized in multiple ways by South Haven Area Emergency Services (SHAES).

In recent weeks James (JD) Quinn was promoted to a Captain in the department and on May 4 he was named the department’s 2024 Firefighter of the Year. Pictured left with Chief Brandon Hinz. The recognition was given during the department’s annual banquet.

The Firefighter of the Year is determined by a vote of the membership.

“JD cares deeply about this organization,” said Chief Brandon Hinz. “He is deeply committed on a personal level and a skilled professional who is highly respected by his colleagues.’ Quinn joined SHAES in 2002, beginning as a paid-on-call member, transitioning to career in 2009. He was presented the department’s Leadership Award in 2019.

JD is part of a great family tradition in service to the South Haven community. His father, James A. Quinn, is a paid-on-call member and his twin brother, Paul, is also a career captain. His wife, Johanna, is a career member and a son, Shawn, serves in the paid-on-call ranks. In all, there are 12 active SHAES members who are part of the Quinn fire service tradition, ranging from cadets to officers to firefighters to retirees. James A. Quinn was honored as the Firefighter of the Year in 2018-19 and Paul was presented the award in 2009-10 and again in 2019-20.

The recipient of this year’s Leadership Award is Captain Ronald (Ron) Ridley. Ridley retired as a career member in 2023.He has since continued as a paid-on-call member, extending his service to the community to 45 years.

“Ron has set the leadership bar for this department,” said Hinz. “He has led by example. He will go down in the annals of SHAES as the most dedicated, hardest working employee, co-worker and friend that his organization has ever seen.”

This year’s banquet was dedicated to the SHAES governing board. In appreciation, the department presented badges to President Ross Stein, representing South Haven Township; Vice President Allan Overhiser, Casco Township; Secretary-Treasurer Nancy Whaley, Geneva Township; member Annie Brown, Mayor of City of South Haven; and member Kate Hosier, South Haven City Manager.

“These folks don’t get paid for attending our monthly meetings, a few for 28 years,” said Hinz. “They are as committed to serving our community as any member on the active roster.”

The department honored members for years of service – Ronald Ridley, 45 years; Paul Quinn, 30 years; Brandon Hinz, 25 years; Patrick Quinn and Timothy Quinn, 15 years; Johanna Quinn and Steven Cavadas, 10 years; and Aaron Sawyer, Amanda Quinn, Jacob Clemons, Phil Poole, Kevin Wildey and Zach Hanner, 5 years.

Several members were honored for professional achievements: Corey Capel, Fire Officer 1 and 2; Rex Haner, Fire Officer 2; Brian Horan, Jr., Fire Officer 3; Dawn Nyhof, Dive Rescue and EMT-B; Jacob Clemons and Will Cooper, Fire Officer; Kevin Wildey, Jessica Trinklein, Shawn Quinn and Jazmin Cortez, Paramedic.

A new certified Tech Rescue Team was created consisting of Dawn Nyhof, Rex Haner, Johanna Quinn, David Griessel, Ron Ridley, Zach Kenreich, Corey Capel, Paul Pant and Will Cooper.

Members of a new Cadets class are Ayden Quinn, Sam Rose and Lyla Quinn.

Joining the department as paid-on-call members were Dawn Nyhof, Shelby Forker, Jessica Trinklein and Brandon Brown. Joining the ranks as fulltime firefighters/paramedics were William Cooper, Paul Pant and Shyanne Foster. SHAES provides fire and emergency medical services to Casco, Geneva and South Haven Townships and the City of South Haven. In 2023 the department responded to a record 2,679 calls.

“Throughout the history of SHAES and the previous South Haven and Casco fire departments we have prided ourselves on compassionate care for our EMS patients, quick response and aggressive fire suppression,” said Hinz. “Our members have always gone the additional step, to do that extra…and it shows.”

Archived Annual Banquet Pages

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