Husband & wife honored for excellence in service

By Lynn R. Parks

Members of the Georgetown Fire Company, planning their regular monthly meeting in May, decided to honor Ron Fensick for excellence in performance. Fensick, a resident of Blades and a member of that town's volunteer fire company, also drives an ambulance for the American Legion Post No. 8 Ambulance Service in Georgetown.

The firefighters wanted the award to be a surprise. So they turned to Fensick's wife, Lisa, and asked her to get him to the meeting.

"I thought that we were going for Lisa," Fensick said. "But then, it turned out to be an award for me."

Just two nights later, the Sussex County Ambulance Association held its annual meeting. Members there planned to present Lisa Fensick, who is administrator of the American Legion Ambulance Service, with its EMS Supervisor of the Year award.

Like the volunteer firefighters, they wanted the award to be a surprise. So they turned to Ron to make sure that she would be at the meeting.

"She got me to a meeting to get an award, and then I did the same for her," Ron said. "I think now, we are even."

Ron, 55, has been a member of the Blades Volunteer Fire Company for 21 years. Lisa, 52, joined the company in 1997. Both were named Rookie of the Year in their first years. Ron, who is chief, has also been named Fireman of the Year.

"It's nice to be recognized," he said. "But for me, that's not what it's all about."

"We don't do this for awards," agreed Lisa. "You are never out there on your own. There's always team work."

Lisa is a nationally recognized emergency medical technician. She joined the ambulance service as an EMT and was named supervisor in 2003.

She became the administrator in 2011 and oversees a staff of 22. The award that she received is presented annually to a "Sussex County fire or EMS company ambulance captain or supervisor who promotes quality emergency medical treatments, provides leadership and has a commitment to excellence."

A 1978 graduate of Seaford High School, Lisa has a degree in business and accounting. She was working for Penco in Seaford in 1996 when her husband, Robert Elliott, an employee of the city of Seaford, was electrocuted while working on the city's electric lines.

When she and Ron started dating, he introduced her to the Blades Fire Company. "I just decided that it was something that I wanted to be a part of," she said. She joined the company and then got her national certification.

"It was a complete career change," she said.

Ron, who graduated from Seaford High School in 1976, joined the Blades company two years after his brother, Greg Reed, joined the Seaford Volunteer Fire Department. Their maternal grandfather, Virgil McGee, was a Blades firefighter. Ron is also a technician at Harley-Davidson of Seaford, where he has worked for 14 years.

He was recognized by the Georgetown Fire Company for his actions during an ambulance call for help for a sick 4-year-old child. Also recognized was Georgetown company volunteer Jeff Ward, who was serving on the ambulance.

Both Ron and Lisa said that receiving their awards won't make any difference in how they continue to do their jobs.

"I will respond to things the way I always have," Ron said. "I joined the fire service to give something back to the community. And I love it. I learn something new every day."

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