On Thursday, the Shawnee Fire Department hosted a party, celebrating promotions and retirements of their crew. Shawnee Fire Chief Dru Tischer recognized and celebrated the longtime service of two now-retired members of their team — former secretary, Clarice Brock, and former firefighter, Battalion Chief Jim VanAntwerp.

On Thursday, the Shawnee Fire Department hosted a party, celebrating promotions and retirements of their crew. Shawnee Fire Chief Dru Tischer recognized and celebrated the longtime service of two now-retired members of their team — former secretary, Clarice Brock, and former firefighter, Battalion Chief Jim VanAntwerp.

During the ceremony, VanAntwerp and Brock received plaques noting their years of service, as well as the SFD's traditional gifts of a red ball cap and jacket for retired fire department members.

For her many years of service to the city — 12 years with the fire department — Brock holds a special place in the hearts of those she worked with.

He said her wisdom and compassion to her position impacted each and every member of the department.

Tischer said Brock's natural curiosity served the group well.

“It made her an informed and knowledgeable asset to our department,” he said.

Brock is a caretaker, Tischer said.

“Nobody — and I mean nobody — cares more for the firefighters in this department more than Clarice,” he said.

No matter how she felt or had going on, Tischer said she always went above an beyond in taking care of the firefighters in this department.

Of Brock, Tischer said the whole department owes her a debt of gratitude for the way she did her job — noting that he considered her a wise mentor.

VanAntwerp is another retiree this year who will be missed by the SFD.

“One thing that stands out about Jim's service is that he served as a supervisor for 21 of his 25 years with the department,” Tischer said. “That's 85 percent of his career.”

He said that's an unbelievable accomplishment that speaks to VanAntwerp's character, maturity and dedication.

“He's one of the most thorough and dedicated individuals I have ever met,” Tischer said. “He was always passionate about the job and demanded a high level of performance out of all those under his command.”

Deputy Chief Andy Starkey also had a few choice words to say about longtime coworker VanAntwerp — keeping mostly to the lighter side of humor, but with an undertone of sincerity, deep respect and admiration.

Tischer also acknowledged the promotions of several of the community's firefighters this year:

• Battalion Chief Tony Wittmann

• Capt. Rob Rusk

• Lt. Mike Bickel

• Lt. Steven Scarberry

• Lt. Clint Seidl

• Lt. Derrick Rollins

• Lt. Jake Anthony

• Lt. Devin Abney

• Lt. Lane Williams

• Firefighter Matt Abel

• Firefighter Jason Johnson