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By Steve Steiner
Executive Editor 

Couple Honor Polk Fire Rescue Station 9

 

Last updated 7/23/2020 at 9:42am

Steve Steiner

Jerry and Paula Goodrich present Bob McNeilis, an EMT with Polk Fire Rescue Station Nine, with a plaque honoring the station. McNeilis is chosen to accept the plaque because it is his birthday.

For the past two years, Paula and Jerry Goodrich have been on a mission. Throughout Polk County, the couple presents police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians with plaques they make.

"This is our way of showing respect and appreciation," said Paula Goodrich. The idea came to her from watching a YouTube video. "We got to thinking, why don't we honor the people who serve us."

Steve Steiner

Jerry and Paula Goodrich present Bob McNeilis, an EMT with Polk Fire Rescue Station Nine, with a plaque honoring the station. McNeilis is chosen to accept the plaque because it is his birthday. Jerry and Paula Goodrich show their appreciation to the members of Polk Fire Rescue Station Nine.

There is also a personal connection - actually two. The first is the fact their son is a deputy with the Polk County Sheriff's Office. But it's the second connection that perhaps has a greater significance. Although she didn't elaborate on the circumstance, Paula said a fire department saved Jerry Goodrich's life.

On Wednesday, July 22, the couple presented one of their custom made plaques to Polk County Fire Rescue Station Nine, located on Pinehurst Drive in Bartow. During the presentation, Jerry pointed out a display of plaques, statuettes and other materials the couple has made, as well as gifts, photos and articles on a display. According to Jerry, the couple has a memorabilia wall that spans an estimated 22 feet.

Members of Station Nine expressed their gratitude upon receiving the plaque, which, incidentally, is made of cement.

"It's unbreakable," said Paula, "unless, of course, you drop it."

Following the presentation, Jerry made an announcement.

"We've been to five, so far," he said. This was only the beginning. He then announced that he and Paula would soon make arrangements to present another on once the details were worked out. "We want to make sure there will be someone present to receive it."

Author Bio

Steve Steiner, Executive Editor

Steve came out of a two-year retirement to helm BartowNews.net. Following a career in journalism/advertising/public relations --- at one point being a partner in an advertising/PR agency --- he shifted professions and focused on food service and hospitality before returning to journalism. As a journalist, rose from reporter to sections editor to managing/executive editor with newspapers in North Carolina, Mississippi and Florida. He is enjoying restoring a quality news site for his adopted hometown. Send him your story ideas.

 

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