The Mancos Fire District honored longtime volunteers at a jovial ceremony at the Millwood Junction restaurant on Saturday.
Chief Tony Aspromonte and Scott Anderson were both honored for 30 years of service, and Assistant Fire Chief Ed Martinez was honored for 20.
"Some people have to sacrifice time with their family to help people in their downtime. When they are in their time of need, is when we shine, " he said, explaining why he volunteers. Martinez is a professional flight paramedic for Tristate CareFlight and also works for Southwest Ambulance.
The district also said goodbye to Rick and Natasha Spencer, both members of the department, who are moving to Maricopa, Arizona, where Natasha will work in the Emergency Room at Chandler Regional Medical Center.
The chief's daughter and a 10-year volunteer, Spencer, recalled meeting her husband in his law-enforcement uniform on an accident scene.
"Cops and firefighters usually don't get along," she said laughing in an interview.
Her former position, as emergency medical services training captain will be filled by Anderson.
Both Martinez and Spencer emphasized the need for new emergency personnel and other kinds of volunteers.
"It seems like the same people go on every call," Spencer said.
The department has need for many kinds of volunteers to work on the books and help maintain the department in addition to fighting fire, Martinez said.
"You don't have to fightfire, you don't have to go on ambulance calls," he said.
An emergency usually least two hours and often they can translate into many cold meals and family events, Aspromonte said.
"When the tone goes off it's not always convenient," he said.
The district honors service in increments of five years. The longest serving member is Lyle Cox, who has volunteered for 49 years, Aspromonte said.