Moulton and local fire departments honored as Hometown Heroes

Lawrence County first responders were honored and recognized for their community service at a dinner hosted by Modern Woodmen of America Thursday night, May 16. Pictured in the front row from left are: Moulton Assistant Fire Chief Brian Phillips, Mathew Dudley, Woodmen member Samantha Black, Moulton Fire Chief Ryan Jolly, Woodmen member Amber Dunlap, and Gunnar Walling. Pictured in the back row from the left are: Tim Miles, Woodmen member Steve Sutton, Seth Hazen, Collis Pointer, Christopher Hood, and Caren Stewart. 

Moulton Fire Department and the six other fire departments who responded to the April 22 fire on Court Street were honored and recognized as hometown heroes at a dinner hosted by Modern Woodmen of America Thursday, May 16. 

Modern Woodmen of America sponsors a Hometown Hero program and awards a recipient elected by local Woodmen chapters each year, Modern Woodmen Financial Representative Amber Dunlap said. 

This year, the Moulton Chapter elected Ryan Jolly and Moulton Fire Department as 2019 Hometown Heroes.

Honorary guests included responders from each of the seven fire departments who assisted in the fire that devastated downtown Moulton on April 22. These included Courtland, Hillsboro, Speake, Chalybeate, Moulton, Decatur and Russellville Fire Departments. 

“I’m so appreciative of our local responders and what they do for our communities,” Dunlap said. “My brother, Ryan, has volunteered with Moulton for several years. I’ve known this upstanding group for quite some time.”

As a part of the annual ceremony, Modern Woodmen of America donates $100 to a charity of the Hometown Heroes’ choice. 

Moulton Fire Chief Ryan Jolly said the donation will likely go to Play it Forward, a golf tournament that is held to benefit the family of fallen firefighters each year, or another organization associated with the fire department. 

“We’re grateful to Modern Woodmen for designating us as hometown heroes and for donating to charity in our name,” Jolly said. “It’s an honor to be recognized and selected for this award.”

Dunlap said about 20 responders attended the dinner, which was catered by Miranda Ball and Alabama Bliss Bistro.

“Miranda, who owns the Muscle Shoals store, gave us a great discount as her way of giving back to the community as well,” Dunlap said.

Several firefighters who attended were called away during the dinner, Dunlap added. 

She said local emergency medical technicians and police officers were in attendance as well. 

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