AVFD Outstanding Volunteer Awards were presented to Firefighter Mark H. Souder and Past Treasurer Everett W. (Willie) Squires, at the Annual Meeting of the Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department, Inc., held at Alexandria Fire Department Station 202 on Wednesday evening, Jan. 18, 2017.
Awards were presented by AVFD President Thomas Y. (Jay) Johnson, Jr. and AFD Deputy Fire Chief Byron F. Andrews, III.
2016 Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Mark Souder. Mark is a native Alexandrian who joined AVFD four years ago as a volunteer while working as an Alexandria realtor. Mark completed many fire and rescue training courses at both the Alexandria and Fairfax County fire training academies, becoming certified as NFPA Firefighter I and II, AFD Fireboat Awareness, and Emergency Vehicle Operator. Around the realtor job, Mark participated in many Alexandria and Del Ray events including overnight duty shifts with AVFD Support Unit 202, wintertime blizzard duty shifts, AFD Mayday/RIT Drill, Del Ray festivals and parades, AFD Station 202 Open Houses, and the annual National Night Out barbeques. Mark also operated the AFD Rehab Bus at several major incidents, and filled in for the AFD Supply Officer during illness recuperation. Last year, Mark received the AVFD Volunteer of the Year Award and an AFD Appreciation Certificate. Mark is also a member of the Potomac Truck & Engine Company #2, and the Virginia State Firefighters Association.
Outstanding Volunteer Award was presented to Willie Squires. Willie is a native Alexandrian who joined AVFD 48 years ago in August 1969 as a volunteer firefighter, starting with the Potomac Truck & Engine Company #2 at the former Town of Potomac firehouse in today’s Del Ray. Exactly 25 years after his father’s military retirement, Willie joined the U.S. Air Force and served for 21 years throughout the Cold War, Vietnam War, and Gulf War. Willie earned many military promotions and decorations before retiring as a Master Sergeant and Security Police Superintendant. Willie also managed the Defense Printing Service plant at the Pentagon, served in the D.C. Air National Guard, and participated in the annual Open Houses at Andrews Air Force Base. Willie graduated from the AVFD Firefighter Recruit School #1 in 1986, and later became certified as an Emergency Medical Technician, Hazardous Materials Operations, and Emergency Vehicle Operator. Willie continues to serve Alexandria and Del Ray through overnight duty shifts with AVFD Support Unit 202, wintertime blizzard duty shifts, Friendship Firehouse Festivals, Del Ray parades, and the annual National Night Out barbeques. Willie is now an AVFD Life Member and also served several times as AVFD Vice President and AVFD Treasurer.
Alexandria’s fire and rescue volunteers have provided emergency services to Alexandria for 242 years since the 1774 establishment of the Friendship Fire Company in historic Alexandria, Virginia.