DERBY — Two local volunteer firemen will be honored by the state Saturday for their service for a department they helped start.
Jim Lambeth and Brion Richardson, charter members of the Derby Fire Department, will receive the Order of the Guardian for providing “continuous service to the community as firefighters” during the 40th anniversary celebration of the department, according to the N.C. Department of Insurance.
The award is the highest given out by NCDOI and will be presented by Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who also serves as the state fire marshal.
The Derby Fire Department, which serves the northeastern area of Richmond County, was chartered in 1983.
The department currently has 25 members serving a six-mile response area north of Hoffman, near both the Montgomery and Moore county lines. The response area has about 700 residents, according to Chief David Poland.
Poland told the RO during a fundraiser in May that Derby is the only department in the county without a tax base. The county allotts the department a certain amount each year for running mutual aid calls from the annual budget.
Aside from that, Poland said, the department operates off money from fundraisers and grants.
In late 2021, the department received $5,000 from the N.C. Department of Insurance which was part of a $500,000 contribution to the state from Blue Cross Blue Shield NC.
The department will be getting a portion of $100,000 allocated for all of the county’s volunteer fire departments from the recently passed state budget.
Other guests for the celebration include Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who is currently running for governor, and Rep. Ben Moss.
The event, which runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. will also include food, games, kids activities and entertainment.