County Council honors firefighters for volunteer work

  • Friday, December 13, 2013

Chris Sokoloski/Times Georgetown County Council honored its Employee Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year at its meeting on Tuesday night. Shown above are, from left, Georgetown County Fire Chief Mac Reed, Employee Volunteer of the Year Keith Ziegenhorn, County Council Chairman Johnny Morant, Volunteer of the Year Frank Seitz, and Midway Fire Rescue Assistant Chief James Crawford.

Keith Ziegenhorn and Frank Seitz were honored by Georgetown County Council on Tuesday as the Volunteers of the Year.

Ziegenhorn, a firefighter-EMT with the County Fire/EMS department, was named Employee Volunteer of the Year.

Seitz, who works in the fire inspector’s office at Midway Fire Rescue, was named Volunteer of the Year.

Ziegenhorn moved here from Iowa when he was hired by County Fire/EMS in April 2011.

“It’s been a great job ever since,” he said.

Earlier this year, Ziegenhorn came up with idea of selling T-shirts to raise money to send kids to Camp Can Do, a residential camp for kids ages 6-17 who have suffered serious burns.

Ziegenhorn got the idea after responding to several calls last year where children had been burned.

The thought of his young daughter, Isabella, safe at home was always on his mind.

“That kind of weighed pretty heavy on my heart,” he said.

T-shirt sales and donations totaled $1,500.

The fundraiser was one of the reasons Ziegenhorn won his award.

“It’s always an honor when your peers look at you and say you did a good job,” he said.

Ziegenhorn has wanted to be a firefighter since he was a little boy,

His wife, Breanna, is an EMT for Marion County EMS.

Ziegenhorn said it’s nice that they’re in the same professional because they understand each other’s jobs.

The T-shirt sale gave Ziegenhorn a chance to do some public outreach, which is one of his favorite parts of his job.

He wants to make sure people are comfortable around firefighters.

Seitz grew up in Pennsylvania, and traces his love of firefighting back to his childhood when his uncle was a volunteer firefighter.

He became a firefighter in 1960, but before joining Midway, he had never worked for a paid department.

Seitz, was humbled and accepted his award on behalf of all the volunteers of Georgetown County.

“I’m a guy who likes to be part of things but doesn’t like the attention,” he said. “[Volunteering has] just been a wonderful experience.”

Seitz and his wife, Nancy, retired to Litchfield from New Jersey seven years ago.

He files all of Midway’s fire reports and takes care of the building pre-plans, which give firefighters the information they need about a structure, so they know what they’re walking into.

In his mid-60s when he arrived on the Waccamaw Neck, Seitz was hoping to work for Midway for at least five years.

Seven years later he has no plans to stop.

“As long as they put up with me … I doubt that they’ll put me out to pasture.”

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