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 ends.
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 training grant.
“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 http://woobox.com/woodoh.
Help the Buxton VFD put their chief over the top