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Three North Country first responders honored

Special to the Union Leader

November 04. 2013 6:39PM

BRETTON WOODS — Four hundred of New Hampshire’s first responders and their families filled Mount Washington Hotel’s Grand Ballroom Friday to honor three of their own from the North Country.

With Gov. Maggie Hassan on hand to express the state’s thanks for the years of service they’ve provided their communities, personnel from law enforcement, firefighting and emergency medical response marked the North County Public Safety Foundation’s sixth annual awards dinner.

Those chosen for the 2013 individual honors were: Grafton County Sheriff Doug Dutile, law enforcement officer of the year; Dalton Fire Chief Ronald Sheltry, firefighter of the year; and Mark Taylor, a member of the Lisbon Life Squad and Franconia Ambulance. Taylor is also an inspector for the Franconia Fire Department and serves as Franconia’s emergency management director. He retired last year as acting police chief of that town.

Dutile “has the proven track record of experience, knowledge, leadership, reliability, honesty and compassion, which the public he serves has come to expect,” said New Hampshire State Police Lt. Todd Landry, who presented his award. “He started out his career as a patrolman on the street and then worked his way up the ranks, being assigned to the detective unit and working on several high-profile cases,” said Landry, commander of state police Troop F in Twin Mountain.

Lancaster Assistant Fire Chief Michael Copp delivered Sheltry’s award.

“I have had many occasions to serve with our recipient on the fire ground, and I can personally verify that he is a doer. Whether serving as incident commander, staging officer or pump operator at some remote water supply location, this chief understands the roles that need to be filled and is willing to do what is necessary without a lot of fanfare,” Copp said.

Retired Franconia Fire Chief William Mead did the honors for Taylor, saying he had “personally worked many calls with (Taylor) and can attest that he is one of the most rock solid EMTs in the business.”

Mead said Taylor had “given countless hours of his own time making sure that the supplies were restocked, the truck inspections were complete, the oxygen bottles were filled, the truck had fuel and so on.”

Sugar Hill Fire Chief and North County Public Safety Foundation President Allan Clark said Monday in an email that the sixth event had been a solid success.

“The greatest value of the event is that it brings business and community leaders together with the first responders within the community in a venue that allows conversation about the challenges that each face. It is a wonderful event” Clark said.

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