What kind of a birthday gift do you give someone who’s spent more than half his life in service to his community?
City staff and fellow firefighters did things up right Thursday for Henderson Fire Chief Steve Cordell, who celebrated his 51st birthday in the company of city officials and N.C. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey, who conferred to Cordell the Order of the Guardian award.
And the proverbial icing on the cake was Mayor Eddie Ellington’s official mayoral proclamation to make Jan. 19 “Steve Cordell Day.”
Causey was in town to award a couple of SAVE awards at Vance County Emergency Services Thursday morning, and then presented the award to Cordell during an afternoon ceremony at City Hall, Acting Chief Curtis Tyndall told WIZS News Friday.
Chief Chris Wright and Engineer Tyler Crews were presented with SAVE awards from Causey, who also serves as the state fire marshal, given to first responders and others who go above and beyond the call of duty in their work, according to information from Causey’s office.
The Order of the Guardian is the top award presented by the state insurance commissioner for outstanding service and leadership in the fire industry.
“We were honoring a man (in Cordell) on his birthday for his 30 years of service to the community,” Tyndall explained.
“Causey recognized the chief as being – regardless of the size of the department – one of the premier chiefs in the state of North Carolina,” Tyndall said. During his term as chief, Cordell has garnered the respect of peers across the state and beyond, Tyndall said.