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Rescuers honored


State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon presents East Wayne Fire District Assistant Chief Ryan Sprunger with the state Valor Award Nov. 4 for his actions last December. Reardon visited communities to present awards this year because of the pandemic.


Rescuers and family members were recognized Nov. 4 for their efforts last December to save two young boys and their grandfather from an icy pond in Sugar Creek Township. County Commissioners honored EWFD Chief Kyle Nussbaum and Assistant Chief Ryan Sprunger and Sugar Creek Township Board President Jon Hofstetter and Dalton Mayor Dennis Finley read a proclamation honoring rescuers and declaring November “Thin Ice Awareness Month.”


Four generations of the Sprunger family. From left,  John Sprunger, Kidron Fire Chief for 45 years, Jedd, 39 years in fire service, Ryan, eight years in service. Jedd holds Ryan’s son, Haydn. 

DALTON  Thanks to teamwork, two young boys and their grandfather were pulled from an icy pond at a Sugar Creek Township family farm in December. Despite rescue efforts, one of the boys died at a local hospital days later.

The incident continues to result in an outpouring of support from people both within and outside the community toward the family, and all those involved.

Almost a year after the tragedy, local government officials are proclaiming November “Thin Ice Awareness Month,” in memory of 4-year-old Jenson Hodge.

Last week, village, township, and county representatives, as well as the state fire marshal recognized those involved in the rescue.

The Village of Dalton and Sugar Creek Township Board of Trustees worked together on a proclamation that was read at East Wayne Fire District’s Station 1 in Dalton Nov. 4. Earlier that day, State Fire Marshal Kevin S. Reardon traveled to Dalton to award EWFD Assistant Chief Ryan Sprunger the Ohio Fire Service Valor Award for his actions that day.

The complete story is in the Nov. 11, 2020 edition.

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