John Copland thought the Cobleskill Fire Department, Auxiliary and Rescue Squad had gathered at the firehouse to enjoy a barbecue and hear Senator Pete Oberacker last Wednesday.
Instead, they were all there for him, including the Senator.
“It just about knocked my socks off,” Mr. Copland said. “It was humbling for sure.”
All were on hand for him to receive the New York State Senate 2022 Commendation Award and an award for Outstanding Legacy of Volunteerism from the fire department.
“I’m here to recognize one of your own,” Senator Oberacker told the audience of about 50 before calling a stunned Mr. Copland forward.
Just about speechless, Mr. Copland said, “I do what I do for the community.”
Jimmy Bogart, the fire department’s public information officer, nominated Mr. Copland for the state award.
“I’m very proud through my volunteerism to get to know him,” Mr. Bogart said. “He doesn’t seek recognition, and he deserves a lot more.”
The Outstanding Legacy Award, Mr. Bogart said, is for Mr. Copland’s “volunteerism in and out of the fire service.”
A member of the fire department and rescue squad since 1998, Mr. Copland has volunteered for a lifetime.