August 3, 2016

Buxton's Chief Perry takes third place in competition

By IRENE NOLAN


The Step Up, Stand Out initiative, sponsored by Firehouse magazine and firehouse.com, to honor the country's top volunteer firefighters ended Sunday, July 31, and unofficially, at least, it seems that one of the nominees, Chief Bryan Perry of the Buxton Fire Department finished in the top five.

Most of us who were following the voting, which started on June 1, think Perry placed third among the top five with more than 6,500 votes.

However, according to the Stand Up and Stand Out website, the five finalists will be announced on Thursday, Aug. 18, and voting will begin again for the grand prize winner.

The members in the Buxton VFD heard about the competition earlier this year and thought it would be a cool way to honor their chief. They decided to go for it, even though they feared their leader would not approve of being singled out for recognition.

Anyway, the Buxton firefighters got together and made a short video nominating Perry for recognition in the Step up and Stand Out initiative. The initiative is designed to recognize the outstanding volunteer firefighters across the country and to encourage membership and participation in volunteer fire departments everywhere.

The guys were so concerned that Perry wouldn't like the idea that they didn't tell him about it until it was a done deal and they told him then only because the contest rules required them to.

The chief, they knew, would insist that he didn't deserve any more recognition than any other volunteer in his department, on Hatteras Island, or anywhere else.

Maybe he is right about that, but they thought otherwise.

And you can't ignore that fact that Bryan Perry is the "dean" of Hatteras Island fire chiefs.

He joined the Buxton VFD in 1976 when he was 20 years old, and he has been chief since 1982 -- for 34 years.

According to deputy chief Jeffrey Del Monte, this week's Monday night meeting was "just a regular training meeting," though he noted the Buxton VFD members are pretty pumped with the results of the competition and grateful to all of those who helped them out by voting for their chief.

And they hope, all of you will vote again in the next round.

The video they made about Perry can still be seen on the Stand Up and Stand Out website, http://woobox.com/woodoh. And watch the website on Aug. 18 for the official announcement of the finalists and the rules for the next round of voting.

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