Kent Kirkham, a lifelong area resident received a special award recently to mark his 28 years of volunteer service to Grove Emergency Management.

“He’s an outstanding individual,” said Delaware County Deputy Robert Fromeyer. “You couldn’t ask for any better service.”

Kirkham, who works as a communications officer and ham radio operator for Grove Emergency Management, received a plaque presented by Grove City Manager Bruce Johnson at the Emergency Management Christmas Party on December 15th.

“He was one of the original members of Emergency Management back when it was civil service in a little room at the Grove Police Department,” Fromeyer explained.

Grove Emergency Management has gone through many transitions, including a move to its own dedicated facility, since that time.

As of the first of the year, Grove Emergency Management will be joining with Delaware County Emergency Management in a move that Johnson said will make both departments more efficient.

The county will take over as of Jan. 1, 2009.

The City of Grove will pay the County $50,000 per year and retain ownership of all its equipment.

“The City of Grove and Delaware County are combining forces to make Emergency Management more effective and efficient,” Johnson said during a previous interview.

“Right now they have a part-time director and we have a part-time director, which means we don’t have full-time coverage,” he said.

Johnson said that by combining Emergency Management departments the city and the county will have less duplication of services and will be able to operate more efficiently with other state agencies because they will have a single source for coordinating efforts.

“We appreciate all the county commissioners have done to help facilitate this,” Johnson said. “We are looking forward to a diligent, long, and productive partnership.”