The Jeff-Craig Fire Department in Vevay is one of 20 volunteer fire departments from across the nation being featured in a promotional contest.

Johnsonville Sausage Co. is honoring volunteer fire departments this year in its annual "Best of US" contest.

This year's contest received 256 nominations.

Here's what was said about the Jeff-Craig Fire Department in the nomination application:

"Vevay, Indiana represents all the values of small-town America: pride, freedom, religion and sense of community. In the heart of Vevay, the Jeff-Craig Fire Department depicts a true reflection of these values.

"The department takes a "neighbors helping neighbors" approach to public service. JCFD is an all-volunteer fire department that takes pride in all they do. Jeff-Craig Fire constantly looks for ways to help the local community.

"Besides fire protection, Jeff-Craig Fire promotes many community events annually through its firehouse. Every year the department coordinates a community Easter egg hunt, Halloween parade and costume contest. The department is also very active in local festivals and 4-H Fair events. In recent years the department has also helped sponsor an ultra-marathon, car show, fishing tournament, health & safety fairs and the community's Bicentennial celebration.

"The fire chief also allows the department building to be used for fundraising, charity and other public events. Members of the jurisdiction are able to use the department building for personal events such as birthdays, funeral dinners and wedding receptions. In an effort to more effectively serve the area, JCFD has implemented a medical first responder program, a HazMat response team and a local water rescue team. JCFD also worked hard to lower the ISO rating of its community in an effort to save residents money on insurance premiums. JCFD is constantly conducting training and doing everything possible to properly serve the local area.

"Community members that belong to the Fire Department take pride in all they do. Although they are volunteers, they dedicate many hours to training and commit much time to community service. Several JCFD firefighters have received awards such as: 2013 Indiana Fire Chief of the Year, 2013 Amkus Star Award, 2012 American Legion Firefighter of the Year and Paramedic of the Year. JCFD constantly goes above and beyond and is worthy of department recognition in its entirety. In 2013 JCFD responded to almost 800 total emergency calls and had 1,581 hours of community service (man hours not included) and received a visit from Indiana's governor. Please consider Jeff-Craig Fire Department for the 'Best of US' award."

The firehouse with the most votes will be awarded $10,000, and the nine runners-up will receive a $1,000 cash prize.

Voting is now open and will continue until June 20. You can vote for the Jeff-Craig Fire Department by going to www.bestofus.johnsonville.com.