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Kirbyville Volunteer Fire Department's 2023 Awards Banquet

The Kirbyville Volunteer Fire Department held their annual Awards Banquet Saturday night at Gateway Tabernacle in Kirbyville. The ladies of the church created a delicious spread of Mexican food to the delight of all who attended!


It was a packed house with a list of local dignitaries and honorary fire fighters in attendance.


KVFD Chaplin Hunter Burchett opened the ceremony in prayer and blessed the meal.


Preston Williams recognized honorary members, ESD 3 members, and announced the speaker of the hour.


Gateway Pastor Danny Lewis was the guest speaker for the event. He spoke on the value of community. "Building community is so important. This is what the Fire Department actually does. A community has common goals and common values. Our fire fighters are respecting and caring for our community. In a very real way, they are the guardians of our community. They protect our most valued possessions. Most if not all of us here have had some form of tragedy where our firefighters (first responders) were on the scene, quickly tending to whatever needs we may have. They are heroes."


Lewis then mention Pastor Charles Burchett. "When we moved to Kirbyville 29 years ago, Pastor Charles among other area pastors would meet here once a week and pray for our community. I miss my friend, as I am sure many of you do. Although I'm sure he wouldn't trade his life now to come back on this earth, nor would I ask him to."

Lewis closed in saying, "Thank you Kirbyville Volunteer Fire Department for showing us such a wonderful example of community!"


Chief Ellis and Deputy Chief Kennon Ellis presented Brother Lewis with a certificate of appreciation and began the awards portion of the event.


The Business of the Year award was given to kemp Trailer Sales.

Years of Service awards were given to;

5-Years of Service-Michael Swan

5-Years of Service-Redolfo Briz

15-Years of Service-Shane McGee

15-Years of Service-Steve (Scooby) Sowder

35-Years of Service-Kennon Ellis

Fireman of the Year went to Jonathan Coleson who unfortunately was not at the event.


2024 new officers were;

Chief-Greg Ellis

Deputy Chief-Kennon Ellis

1st Asst. Training-Steve Sowder

2nd Asst. Maintenance-Jeremy Richardson

Secretary-Steve Sowder

Public Relations Officer-Redolfo Briz

Chaplin-Hunter Burchett

Captain Engine 2-Hollis Ellis

Captain Engine 3-Clint Cucanci

Captain Rescue 4-Joshua Jordan

Captain Brush 5-Michael Swan

Captain Engine 6-Colton Ellis


As always, KVFD Chief Greg Ellis mentioned the wives, honoring them for, "Always being there for us. Our positions often mean ruined date nights, and spoiled family events including birthdays. We want to recognize all of you for putting up with our unpredictable schedules, and always being there for us when we need you."


Ellis began listing people, organizations and departments that have held the department throughout the year. Texas A&M, neighboring VFD's, honorary members, City Council, ESD 3, Southeast United Patriots, and all of the public for their faithful support. He also thanked East Texas Banner for their help in reporting the news to the public. And lastly, Ellis thanked the men and women of Gateway Tabernacle for hosting these events. "They always do such a great job!"


For the past three years Wayne Hughes has donated a gun for the raffle. This year it was an AR 15. The winner of this years raffle was Sarah Hughes. If she cannot take it for any reason it will go to Tristan Ellis which was the second name drawn.


The East Texas Banner would like to thank the men and women of the Kirbyville Volunteer Fire Department for everything they do for us and all of our citizens!


2024 Kirbyville Volunteer Fire Department

First row L-R; Michael Swan, Clint Cucanci, Joshua Jordan, Redolfo Briz,Deputy Chief Kennon Ellis, Chief Greg Ellis, and David Littlefield.

Second row L-R; Wayne Hughes, Asst. Chief Mait. Jeremy Richardson, Shannon Jordon, Colten Ellis, Craig Fussel, Hunter Burchett.

Back row L-R; Josh Hancock, Asst. Chief Training Steve Sowder.

Not pictured Hollis Ellis



2024 KVFD Captains

L-R; Michael Swan-Brush 5, Clint Cucanci-Engine 3, Joshua Jordan-Rescue 4, Colton Ellis-Engine 6, Redolfo Briz PR.

Not pictured Hollis Ellis-Engine 2


Jonathan Coleson was named

Fireman of the Year



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