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
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
Maybe he is right about that, but they
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
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
And watch the website on Aug. 18 for the official announcement of the
finalists and the rules for the next round of voting.
Help the Buxton VFD put their
chief over the top