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First responders recognized with community spirit awards at Blue Mass ceremony

The Oscar Gelpi Council 6872 of the Knights of Columbus sponsored the 14th annual Blue Mass ceremony at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church on Tuesday night to honor the firefighters, police officers and emergency medical service personnel of Pearl River County.

During the ceremony, the Chief Tom Wagner Community Spirit Award was given to one representative from each of the five departments being recognized.

Grand Chief of the Knights of Columbus Bryan Cassagne said the award is named in honor of the late Tom Wagner, a longtime member of the Carriere Volunteer Fire Department who was also heavily involved in the community.

“The award is given for outstanding community service both on and off the job,” said Cassagne.

Cassagne said the recipients were chosen by their respective departments, and the Knights of Columbus issued the award.

AAA Ambulance Services selected Capricia “Chevy” Burge as their community spirit award winner.

The Picayune Police Department selected Criminal Investigation Department Capt. Lane Pittman as their representative for the honor.

Lt. Joe Quave was selected as the Pearl River County Sheriff Department’s recipient for the award.

The Nicholson Volunteer Fire Department chose Chief Bobby Robbins as their spirit award winner.

Finally, the Picayune Fire Department chose Josh Mitchell as their honoree.

This was the third year the honor was awarded.