Harold Cummings served as a volunteer firefighter with the Winfield Volunteer Fire Department for 27 years. His service and that of other Columbia County firefighters was honored during a Thursday ceremony.
Columbia County officials dedicated a granite memorial plaque at Eubank Blanchard Park in Appling to the county's volunteer firefighters.
"It feels good," Cummings said of the ceremony. "I enjoyed it."
The plaque recognizes the past and present service of volunteer firefighters from the defunct volunteer fire departments of Appling, Leah and Winfield, and volunteer firefighters from Grovetown and Harlem's departments of public safety and those with Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue.
"I felt like we needed to recognize the volunteer firemen for the many, many years of service that they have rendered," county Commissioner Lee Anderson said. "I consider a volunteer a hero."
Anderson noted recent acts of volunteerism after the March 15 tornado that hit the county.
"We had very many volunteers that came out and helped the community and the county in all different kinds of ways to make this community come together and make it an even greater place to live," he said.
Tom McFarland, who was the chief of the now-defunct North Columbia Fire Rescue, and Doug Cooper, the chief of Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue, spoke briefly about the significance of volunteer firefighters.
"There are still volunteers in Columbia County," Cooper said "We couldn't operate our fire department as well as we do without volunteers."
Anderson thought the memorial's location was fitting because many of the volunteer firefighters were from that area.
Cummings was with the fire department when it was established in 1982 and still helps out when he can.
"I just always really wanted to get into something like that," he said.
Anderson said the plaque recognizes the hard work and dedication of the volunteers.
"A hunk of that monument is him," he said of Cummings. "His heart and soul is in that."
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