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December 26, 2013

Three Sugar Creek firefighters honored

TERRE HAUTE — Three members of the Sugar Creek Fire Department have received top honors from their peers for their contributions this year.

• Rachel Cary was selected as Firefighter of the Year.

• Lt. Matt Cox has been named Officer of the Year.

• John Davis has been recognized as Probationary Firefighter of the Year.

Sugar Creek Fire Chief Darrick Scott said Cary, Cox and Davis are all hard workers on the department and exemplify the high quality of firefighters who watch over the Sugar Creek district.

“All three of those individuals are really good people,” Scott said. “As a chief, you couldn’t ask for better workers.”

Cary – who works the overnight shift at Station 42 at St. Mary’s Village – was nominated hands down for the Firefighter of the Year Award.

“She’s a hard worker, very dedicated,” Scott said. “She works 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., so there’s not a lot of supervision. But as a chief, I don’t have to worry about that. She takes care of whatever needs to be done.”

Cary has been with the Sugar Creek department for about five years, but she has been a public servant for much longer. She started working on a small volunteer fire department at age 16. She became certified as an emergency medical technician while a senior in high school, working a part-time job while going to high school in Paris, Ill.

She said she attended the Vigo County Junior Police Academy when she was in sixth grade, and she set her goal to be a police officer. But later on, she made the switch to firefighting.

“Firefighting is more of a brotherhood, or well, a sisterhood,” she said of her experiences. “I’m on a good department that I really enjoy.”

Cox has been with the Sugar Creek department for 14 years, the last three as a lieutenant. He serves as quartermaster, giving support to service people who aren’t firefighters, and taking care of the protective equipment that firefighters use. He is also part of the technical rescue team.

Scott said Cox is self-motivated and respected by other firefighters.

Cox said he enjoys the work and his fellow firefighters. “They’re just really good firefighters and really good people,” he said.

 Davis is a volunteer, and he has just more than a year’s experience with the Sugar Creek department.

He has served as a Vigo County Sheriff’s Deputy since 1999, but he chose to add the firefighter training.

“I’m just proud to help our community,” Davis said.

Scott said Davis motivated the other probationary firefighters as they went through recruit school. He worked hard through the textbook and the technical training.

Davis was been certified at the Firefighter II level.

“A lot of our time is spent learning how to do the job and learning the equipment,” Davis said of firefighting. Incidentally, he is also a training officer with the sheriff’s department, so he proved that he is as good of a student as he is a teacher.

The Sugar Creek Fire Department has 51 firefighting members. The department handles about 1,200 runs each year in Sugar Creek Township and provides mutual aid to area fire departments. It handles rope rescues and confined space incidents through its technical rescue team.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter@TribStarLisa.


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