The Ralston Volunteer Fire Department recognized Tom Negley with the L.V. Pete Petersen award at their annual awards dinner Feb. 1.
The L.V. Pete Petersen award is the highest possible honor given by the RVFD.
The award is not given annually, and was last presented in 2017.
The award is named after Pete Petersen, who not only was a founding member of the department, but was a member for more than 60 years.
When he died in 2003, the retired members of the department decided the department’s highest honor would be named after him.
Negley joined the department in 1975, then in 1980 took a five-year hiatus.
He came back to the department in 1985 and spent 25 years with the department in several capacities before retiring.
He served as fire chief in 1989 and then from 1995 to 2000. He currently serves with the department’s honor guard.
“I took office as fire chief about four years ago and he was a big help to me personally,” said Kevin Eischeid, the department’s current chief.
“He helped with contract negotiations with the city and for the past year he has been an adviser to our people replacement committee.”
Negley served as chairman of the RVFD board of directors for several years, dealing with the business side of the department.
Negley said he was surprised to receive the award.
“I had no idea that I was going to be the recipient until the chief started the presentation,” Negley said.
In fact, no one but the chief and the board knew he was receiving the award.
Negley grew up in Ralston and remembers seeing fire trucks drive up and down the street.
“I have strong ties with the community and it is something that I wanted to do to try and help others,” Negley said.