Russellville Fire Department presents annual awards

It is always special to receive an award, but it is perhaps even more special to receive an award voted on by one’s peers and co-workers.

That was the case this year for Grant Tarascou and Mathew Darracott, who were honored by Russellville Fire Department. Tarascou received the honor of Russellville Firefighter of the Year, and Darracott was named Volunteer of the Year.

“It means a lot to me for them to think that I was worthy enough of this award,” Darracott said. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into this, so it’s nice to know it is paying off.”

Russellville Fire Captain Randy Seal said these are honors the Russellville Fire Department bestows annually. The awards are typically presented at the department’s annual Christmas party, but because of COVID-19, different arrangements had to be made.

“We want them to receive some sort of recognition for the hard work they put in,” Seal said.

The recipients of the awards are voted for by the 20 firefighters of Russellville Fire Department, which Tarascou said makes the award even more special.

“It’s an honor to get voted by your peers,” Tarascou said.

Tarascou said this is his second year in a row to be voted as Firefighter of the Year. During the seven years he has spent at RFD, he said he appreciates the camaraderie he has cultivated with his co-workers while also being able to serve the community.

Darracott said he has learned a lot during his first year at RFD and hopes to continue a career with RFD.

“It has really taught me to cherish every moment,” Darracott said. “If we get called out, that means that someone else is having a bad day.”