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Riley County Fire District No 1

Posted on: January 31, 2024

RCDFD#1 Honors John Wienck with Prestigious Harold Bellman Award

father and son smiling for the camera while holding glass award trophies

(Riley County, KS – January 31, 2024) In a special ceremony held at the Riley County Fire District #1 Annual Awards Banquet, John Wienck was presented with the prestigious Harold Bellman Award, the highest honor presented by the department. The award, named after the late Harold Bellman, a founding member and influential figure in the department, is a testament to Wienck's outstanding dedication and service to the Riley County Fire community since first joining in 1986.

The Harold Bellman Award is an esteemed recognition reserved for individuals who have dedicated a minimum of 20 years of exemplary service to the department. Nominees are carefully selected by Battalion Chiefs, and the award serves as a lifetime achievement acknowledgment for those who have gone above and beyond in their roles as firefighters or battalion chiefs.

John Wienck, a second-generation winner, expressed his sentiments regarding the award, saying, "First, it is a nice honor. Harold Bellman was a great man and a pioneer of Riley County Fire. Having known Harold Bellman for all my life, until he died, it is humbling to win an award dedicated to him. Second, it makes me feel pretty good as a second-generation winner. It shows the dedication my dad and I have to Riley County Fire. It is quite an honor, overall."

John's father, Ivan Wienck, was presented with the Harold Bellman Award in 2003. The Wienck family has a long history of service to the department and to the community.

Known for his positive attitude and willingness to help, Wienck is recognized not only for his firefighting skills but also for his leadership in training new volunteers. In addition to his role as a firefighter, John Wienck is actively involved in various community roles, including being a cattle producer, farmer, and a member of the Riley County Planning and Development board.

Pat Collins, a former Riley County Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director, recalls working with both John and his father, Ivan, dating back to the late 1970s. Pat, himself a Harold Bellman Award recipient, highlights John's reliability and straightforwardness, stating, "John’s a lot like his dad. He’s always there when you need him. He’s not afraid to explain himself or tell you what he thinks, he’s up front with people, and you can count on calling John or Ivan to tell you what they think, whether you like it or not."

The Harold Bellman Award, initiated to honor the legacy of Harold Bellman, who served the City of Randolph as Mayor and played a pivotal role in the consolidation of the fire district, is a symbol of recognition for those who have served the department for an extended period. The award is a result of the community's recognition of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership.

Pat Collins adds, "It doesn’t just recognize the people who are retiring; it recognizes folks who are exceptional. There’s a long list of people who have served long term." Notably, almost every past winner of the award has held the position of Battalion Chief.

John Wienck joins a distinguished list of recipients who have made a lasting impact on the community over their decades-long service.

Harold Bellman Award Winners

  • 2001- Harold Bellman
  • 2002- Ralph Weller
  • 2003- Ivan Wienck
  • 2004- Roy Prestwood
  • 2005- Ross Hauck
  • 2006- Pat Collins
  • 2008- Don Nelson
  • 2009- David Russell
  • 2010- Ernie Jordan
  • 2011- Bruce Zimmer
  • 2012- Doug Messer
  • 2013- Roger Davis
  • 2014- Dan Richards
  • 2015- Bruce Kaump
  • 2016- Howard Sump
  • 2017- Jeff Holmes
  • 2018- Harry Bellman
  • 2019- Raymond Larson
  • 2020- Charlie Peterson

Riley County Fire District #1 (RCFD#1) safeguards the unincorporated areas of Riley County, Kansas, including Leonardville, Ogden, and Randolph. Additionally, the department offers supplementary support to the City of Manhattan and the City of Riley. Covering approximately 500 square miles of suburban and rural terrain, this dedicated team responds to wildfires, brush fires, structure fires, vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, road hazards, gas leaks, and other disasters. Dispatched by Riley County 911, the 15 strategically located fire stations, staffed by over 120 volunteer firefighters, ensure around-the-clock emergency response and risk reduction for the community.

Harold Bellman winners group 2024

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