The Laurel Fire Department honored its fire officer and firefighter of the year during a special luncheon held on Thursday, October 20th, 2022 at the fire department’s training center on Hillcrest Drive. The event began with remarks from Laurel Fire Chief Leo Brown who thanked the entire department for their hard work and dedication to service. “I think I don’t thank you enough,” Chief Brown told the group. “If I could, I’d give everyone of you an award.” He noted that their work had not gone unrecognized by the community. “I’m getting calls all the time on how well y’all are doing. Keep up the good work.”
The event was sponsored by State Farm Agents Brian Ginn and Lori Hearn who presented the awards. Ginn presented the award for 2022 Fire Officer of the Year to Battalion Chief Robby McLaurin. This is the first time that a fire officer has been honored during the annual event. McLaurin, a Laurel native, has been with the department for 31 years and said that his favorite part of the job is the people that he works with. His son Hunter McLaurin and Hunter’s fiancé Ryleigh Hudson joined him during the luncheon to celebrate his accomplishment.
Lori Hearn presented the award for 2022 Firefighter of the Year to Alandis Jones. Jones, also a Laurel native, has been with the department for two years and said that his favorite part of the work is being able to help people. “It brings me happiness and I love to help people out,” he explained. His mother, Lori Jones attended the luncheon to show her support and celebrate his accomplishment.
Both men received a plaque and $500.00 from State Farm and a certificate of appreciation from the City of Laurel presented by Fire Chief Leo Brown. State Farm, in addition to providing the awards and luncheon, also presented the department with a donation of $1,000 to use in their general fund.
Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee thanked Ginn and Hearn for their support and generosity and congratulated McLaurin and Jones on being selected for these awards.
Honorees are selected and voted on by their peers to receive the annual award. For more photos, visit us on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/laurel__ms/