Chamber hosts annual Safety Awards Luncheon

Published 3:49 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Sheriff John Samaniego recognizes Officer Chris Blevins, Officer of the Year from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, at the Greater Shelby County Chamber's annual Safety Awards Luncheon. (Reporter photo / Neal Wagner)

Sheriff John Samaniego recognizes Officer Chris Blevins, Officer of the Year from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, at the Greater Shelby County Chamber’s annual Safety Awards Luncheon. (Reporter photo / Neal Wagner)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer

PELHAM— The Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce recognized eight officers and seven firefighters at the annual Safety Awards Luncheon Sept. 30. Each agency within Shelby County nominated an officer and firefighter of the year, and those individuals were presented at the luncheon.

“In hosting these 2015 Safety Awards and recognizing the 2015 recipients in each department, we also wanted to acknowledge the tremendous teamwork that goes into a successful public safety department,” Mancer said.

Police Officers of the Year were Alabaster’s Charles Brewer, Calera’s Nicholas Burnett, Chelsea’s Citizen Observer Eddie Huggins, Columbiana’s David Alexander, Helena’s Josh Lindsey, Montevallo’s Time Alexander, Pelham’s Bob Howard and Chris Blevins with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Firefighters of the Year were Alabaster’s John Aldrich, Calera’s Tim Nabors, Chelsea’s Paul Williams, Columbiana’s Rodney Reed, Helena’s Caleb Draper, Pelham’s David Douglass and North Shelby’s Donny Acton.

Representatives from each department presented its nomination and explained why the individual was chosen. In all cases, the recipient was someone who went above and beyond for the department and illustrated dedication to their community.

Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer presented Officer Howard with his award, sharing with the audience Howard’s bravery related to the tanker truck accident on County Road 11 on July 7. Howard was the officer who pulled the driver from the tanker truck before it burst into flames.

“Officer Howard’s actions are exemplary and they are an excellent reflection of the professional quality of the officers of the Pelham Police Department,” Palmer said. “I am so proud to be a part of that.”

Alabaster Fire Chief Jim Golden explained the impacts made by Aldrich in his time at the fire department, focusing on his dedication to CPR education. As the lead instructor for the bi-monthly CPR course, Aldrich has trained more than 100 students in the last 11 months.

“John has been on our team since 2004 and throughout his time he has positively impacted our department and countless members of our community,” he said.

Stories of this nature continued for each of the safety award recipients. Calera’s fire chief spoke on Nabors’ perseverance, Fire Chief Wayne Shirley illustrated Williams’ dedication to fire prevention and Helena Police Lt. Brad Flynn commented on Lindsey’s work with the Helena Explorers.

“I thank each and every one of you and the chamber for putting this program on annually,” said Sheriff John Samaniego. “It’s well deserved people who get recognized.”