Volunteering is in Shannon Olsen’s blood. The 33 year old joined the Darien Volunteer Fire Department when she was 16. She followed in the footsteps of her brother, father, and multiple cousins. In fact, her family’s volunteering for the department dates back to the early 1900s.
Shannon’s father Ted Olsen considers the fire department both a “brotherhood” and a “second family.”
The Olsens were among about 50 people who attended Darien Historical Society’s first ever Spirit of the American Volunteer program on Saturday. As part of the program, five first responders — Bob Montlick, Dick Koch, Darien Housing Authority Chairman Joe Warren, Charles (Chick) Scribner, and Darien Police Chief Ray Osborne — were honored.
Each of the five men received a Thaddeus Bell award certificate of community appreciation, as well as a proclamation from Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson, claiming May 18, 2019 as First Responder Day in their name.
Darien resident Dave Polett, who was master of ceremonies at the event and is chairman of the town’s Monuments & Ceremonies Commission, said that each of the men who were being honored — as well as all volunteers everywhere — benefit their community greatly.
When introducing the men, Darien Historical Society Director Maggie McIntire said the roots and foundation of the Darien community “is neighbor helping neighbor.”
“Darien’s first responders are the embodiment of that spirit, and it’s an honor today to celebrate five of Darien’s heroes,” she said.