Local firefighters honored at Emergency Services Banquet
Submitted photo: Deral Raynor (l) and Roger Dail (r)
Firefighters from the Kinston/Lenoir County area gathered at the Emergency Services Banquet on April 26 to honor Distinguished Service Award and Firefighter of the Year recipients.
Each year Lenoir County firefighters present the Distinguished Service Award to an individual that has made significant contributions in the area of emergency services. This year's recipient is Deral Raynor, a member of the Deep Run Volunteer Fire Department. Raynor has been employed by the North Carolina Office of the State Fire Marshal as a fire rating inspector since 2013.
“Deral has always been very involved in the fire service," said Roger Dail, Director of Lenoir County Emergency Management. “I couldn’t think of anybody more deserving. He gives the fire departments a lot of good advice when it comes to rating. He’s our resident expert.”
Prior to joining the office of the State Fire Marshal, Raynor served as the Fire Marshal with Lenoir County Emergency Services and as Chief of North Lenoir Fire and Rescue. He has more than 27 years of experience in the fire service and was heavily involved in the response to the West Pharmaceutical Services explosion in 2003 and the historic flooding from Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
In addition to the Distinguished Service Award, the Lenoir County Firefighter of the Year award was presented for the first time this year. To be eligible the firefighter must be in good standing with their department and have been nominated for Firefighter of the Year by their department within the past 12 months.
Bobby Whitfield of the Deep Run Volunteer Fire Department was named the 2018 Lenoir County Firefighter of the Year. He has served over 36 years with the Deep Run VFD, as well as several years with the Seven Springs VFD. During his tenure at Deep Run he has filled many roles including Assistant Chief, Captain, and Treasurer as a member of the Board of Directors.
Whitfield is a two-time recipient of the Deep Run Firefighter of the Year, earning the award in both 1983 and 2017.
“Bobby is one of the most dedicated firefighters on the Deep Run Volunteer Fire Department,” said Deep Run VFD Fire Chief John Ashley Whitfield. “His dedication to the department is something to be admired and will surely be hard to match."