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BRIGHTON - James "Deak" Worth of Island Pond recently received an award for 50 years of service as a volunteer firefighter for the town of Brighton.
Worth received a plaque and a $100 gift certificate for the Eastside Restaurant from Brighton Chief Richard Hannux.
In years past, Worth has served as chief, but at this time he is "just a firefighter."
Worth said he began serving the department as a 16-year-old and joined the fire department because he "could get out of school when the alarm blew."
He went on to say that the siren used to be located at the old round house (train station) across from the high school (now the municipal building) in Island Pond, and there was a specific alarm signal designated to let the firemen know which street the fire was on.
He said the best part of the job is the camaraderie with other members of the department, and the worst part of the job is the difficulty recruiting new young people to join the department.
"The career center and high school has a great program, but if anyone is really into this type of work, they leave the area to work full time some place else. We had a car accident in Wenlock last week during the day, and it was only Chief Hannux and I available to respond," said Worth.
Hannux said that situation is very unsafe and response is sometime delayed because they are waiting for more firemen.
Worth said he looks forward to serving many more years with the department.