Members of Carson City Elks Lodge No. 2177 rose to their feet and applauded for Carson City Deputy Ray Guzman on Saturday evening during their annual public safety appreciation night dinner.
Guzman was chosen by his peers as the deputy of the year after he escorted a homeowner to safety and helped evacuate a house full of seniors during the Waterfall fire.
Undersheriff Steve Albertsen read a letter from resident Michael A. Gutter, who praised Guzman's actions.
"He was kind, considerate and very helpful in retrieving important documents from my house after evacuations were ordered," the letter states. "I cannot thank him enough for his professionalism."
Guzman said he did nothing more than any other deputy and that he would accept the award on behalf of the entire department.
"This award belongs to all the deputies and personnel, and I'm just very proud to be working with them."
Guzman's wife, Margaret, and son Eric looked on from their seats. His other son Ryan was working.
Carson City firefighter Brian Hunt was named the firefighter of the year, though he was out of town on vacation. Accepting the award in his place was Chief Lou Buckley.
"He's an outstanding firefighter with an outstanding attitude," Buckley said. "We like to propagate those qualities in our new firefighters, and the best way to do that is to make people like Brian our instructors."
Hunt has trained Carson City Fire Department firefighters and volunteers with Warren Engine Company. He also helped start the department's child safety seat inspection program.
Carson City Mayor Ray Masayko and Assemblyman Ron Knecht spoke before the awards were given.
Masayko, a member of Elks Lodge No. 2177 for more than 35 years, said there are Elks regulations requiring lodges to honor public service workers annually.
"The Waterfall fire makes it all the more poignant this year," he said.
Knecht talked about the Combined Service Club Fund, started during the July 25 firefighters' thank-you barbecue at the Legislature. Donations collected Saturday night will go to the fund. Almost $2,000 has been raised by several clubs in town, including Kiwanis, Elks, Sertoma, Jaycees, Lions Club Host, Lions Club Maverick, Soroptomists and Rotary. Lodge 2177 presented another check Saturday night for $335 to the fund.
"This event tonight, with all these people gathered here, is sort of emblematic of the spirit of Carson City," Knecht said.
Some of the money will be spent on aerial reseeding of the burned slopes above Carson City, he said.
The emcee was Exalted Ruler Pat Yeager. Elks officers lead the group through the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer.
Karen Aren-Benson and Jeanne Stelzer - both new Elks Club members - cooked the dinner.
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