The firefighters of the Water Witch Hose Co. No. 2 are starting their fourth half-century of service to the Greater New Milford community.

Fresh off the 2013 celebration of their 150th anniversary, Water Witch members were joined Jan. 10 by local VIPs to enjoy a relaxing evening at the Candlewood Inn in neighboring Brookfield.

Among the highlights of the firefighters' annual awards dinner-dance was the introduction of 2nd assistant chief Todd Russell as the recipient of the prestigous Chief's Award for his contributions to the Water Witch.

David Lathrop and Sean Delaney also enjoyed the spotlight as recipients of special service awards for their awards in coordinating the anniversary events of 2013.

Chief Jim Ferlow and President James Smith will be supported in 2014 by the same officers who served in 2013 -- Don Hapke, 1st assistant chief; Todd Russell, 2nd assistant chief; Richard Squires Jr., captain; Edward Noonan, 1st lieutenant; Kurt Elsesser, 2nd lieutenant; Dean Newkirk, secretary; Lyn Miller, treasurer; and James Galbraith, steward.

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Norm Cummings

Photography by Trish Haldin