Recognizing the 75th Anniversary of the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department

Floor Speech

Date: April 13, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise to recognize the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department on the occasion of its 75th Annual Installation of Officers Banquet, and to thank its volunteers for filling an essential role in keeping our community safe.

The Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department was founded in January 1948, and for more than seven decades it has provided lifesaving fire suppression, fire prevention, and emergency medical and rescue services to the residents of Burke and the surrounding communities. It also provides, houses, and maintains firefighting and emergency medical equipment, provides opportunities for professional growth and development for the membership, and maintains and fosters a strong viable organization.

As one of the county's most active volunteer fire and rescue departments, the Burke Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department works in cooperation with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department to serve the community. I am honored to recognize the dedicated men and women of the Burke Volunteer Fire Department who have volunteered for extra duty as Officers or as members of the Board of Directors and to include their names in the Record:

Board of Directors:

President--Ian Dickinson

Vice President--John Powers

Secretary--Maria Suarez Ortiz

Treasurer--Larry Bocknek

Director--Kathleen Beer

Director--James Stahlman

Director--Kenneth Senn


Chief--Keith O'Connor

Deputy Chief--Tina Godfrey

Deputy Chief--John Hudak

Captain--Melissa Ashby

Captain--Kevin Grottle

Lieutenant--Caitlin Edwards

Sergeant--Gavin Kuzemchak

Sergeant--Noah Bilger

In addition to the men and women who have generously assumed the responsibilities of serving as an Officer or a member of the Board of Directors, the Burke Volunteer Fire Department is also presenting awards to the following individuals in recognition of their exemplary service during the last year:

Rookie of the Year--James Stahlman

Officer of the Year--Gavin Kuzemchak

EMS Officer of the Year--Noah Bilger

Career Member of the Year--Charles Arntson

Founders Award--Charlene Murphy

Administrative Member of the Year--Matt Bryant

Administrative Member of the Year--Tonya McCreary

Chief's Award--Thomas Warnock

President's Award--Larry Bocknek

Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating the department for 75 years of service and in thanking all of the brave volunteers who do not hesitate to drop everything when the community calls in need of help. To all of these men and women who put themselves in harm's way to protect our residents I say: ``Stay safe.''