It's now official. Chief Bryan Perry
of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department is one of five finalists in
the Step Up and Stand Out initiative, sponsored by Firehouse magazine
and firehouse.com, to honor the country's top volunteer firefighters.
The first round of
the competition started on the firehouse.com website on June 1 with a
short video on each of the competitors and ran until July 31. In that
round, Perry garnered more than 6,500 votes to finish somewhere
around third place. The finalists won, among other things, 200 smoke
alarms to distribute in their communities.
The volunteers of
the Buxton department nominated their chief as a surprise, even
though they feared their leader would not approve of being singled
out for recognition. 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.
However, lots of
folks got online to support the chief, the "dean" of
Hatteras Island fire chiefs. Perry joined the department in 1976 when
he was 20 years old and has been chief since 1982 -- 34 years.
The other four
finalists in the competition include an assistant chief from Dripping
Springs, Texas; a chief from Roosevelt, N.C.; a firefighter from Land
O' Lakes, Fla., and a firefighter from Beaufort, S.C.
Voting started on
Thursday, Aug. 18, and continues through Friday, Sept. 23. Once
again, you can vote online once a day each day until the competition
The winner and a
guest will be treated to a VIP experience at the Country Music Awards
in November, and the winner's fire department will receive a $1,000
"Please continue to help us show
our appreciation to such an amazing man and cast your vote starting
August 18th," the Buxton volunteers wrote on the department's
Facebook Page. "The members of the Buxton Volunteer Fire
Department thank you again for your support."
To vote for Chief Perry, go to
the Buxton VFD put their chief over the top