Shelby County Chamber holds 2023 Public Safety Awards
Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, September 27, 2023
By BARTON PERKINS | Staff Writer
The Pelham Civic Complex hosted the annual Shelby County Chamber Public Safety Awards on Wednesday, Sept. 27. First responders throughout various Shelby County police and fire departments were honored and recognized at the luncheon for their exemplary service in the line of duty.
“There’s a lot of people in this room from around Shelby County, fire, EMS, and law enforcement,” Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love said. “All of these groups work together really well. That’s how we have such successful counties and how we have such a great environment to live in. So your work is appreciated. And your work is needed. And there’s always more to do. But we thank you for people like you being here today.”
Chief Love was among many leaders who presented awards to members of their individual departments and recognized recipients for their bravery and commitment to duty.
The award recipients per jurisdiction were as follows:
-Firefighter Dane Polk for his dedication to fitness and keeping his fellow department members healthy and in shape.
“Dan is a guy that is dedicated and very passionate about fitness,” Alabaster Fire Chief Tim Love said. “We’ve been developing a program over the last five years in our department of health and wellness program.Dan has been an integral part of that as our fitness administrator and he puts on lots of hours of extra time making sure that we’re building a program that successful keeps our people healthy,”
-Officer Tyler Posten for his actions while responding to a call regarding a suicidal woman. Postern’s actions resulted in a safe conclusion to the incident, despite the woman’s self-inflicted injuries.
“Tyler realized it was a very dangerous situation, and he did what he had to do,” Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said.
Cahaba Valley Fire Department
-Firefighters Andrew Dunlap, Micheal Foshee, Robert Baylis and Nick Burch for their actions responding to a structure fire on June 21 and their subsequent efforts to save a victim from the collapsing building.
“Today, we want to honor the work these gentlemen did,” Cahaba Valley Fire Chief Buddy Wilks said. “The outcome of this incident was not what we wanted, but that does not change the efforts that they put in.”
-Firefighters Austin Jenkins and Keith Johnson for their work in the rescue operation of a girl who was severely injured after falling down a waterfall.
“They’re both very dedicated to our department and to the career of firefighting,” Calera Fire Chief Sean Kendrick said. “ They have very different personalities but they both have very strong skill sets.”
–Sgt. Blake Atkins for his investigation, pursuit and arrest of a fugitive serial rapist and kidnapper who had been on the run from law enforcement for the past several years.
“I really want to honor Sgt. Atkins for what he did and I want to state that this is a young leader we need in law enforcement,” Calera Police Chief David Hyche said.
-Commanding Captain Josh Rossetti for his actions responding to the devastating LifeSaver helicopter crash.
“He represents the kind of attitude and dedication to training and knowledge that we look for in our department,“ Chelsea Fire Chief Joe Lee said.
-Officer Steven Cranson for his dedication to his job and community. In particular, Cranson was recognized for his actions in a case where an elderly man suddenly lost his wife. Cranson stayed with the man for several hours afterward to offer comfort and support.
“Officer Cranson did his job with compassion and service to others,” Columbiana Police Chief Jeff Bowers said. This is the true definition of public service.”
-Firemen Jacob Mueller and Paul Shearon for their actions in responding to an incident involving four teenagers and a near-fatal train accident.
“They actually went above and beyond,” Helena Fire Chief Peter Valenti said. “They placed themselves in quite a bit of danger, and it paid off.”
-Cpl. William Givan for his dedication to leadership and compassion and his actions in a fraud case that allowed for the triumphant return of an elderly Helena resident’s life savings and the arrest of a scammer in New York City.
“I know that he’ll continue to thrive and grow as a leader in Helena and I’m excited to see what his future holds for him,” Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said.
-Battalion Chief Nathan Hinds for his long career, dedication to service and leadership.
“He is one of the hardest working and most dedicated people I’ve ever known,” Hoover Fire Chief Clay Bentley said. “There is never a task we have asked him to do that’s too complicated.”
-Detective Clifton Washington for pursuit of a burglary case that resulted in the arrest of several Chilean gang members.
“A perfect example of his tenacity is the two year long investigation of burglaries and Hoover that started back in December 2020,” Hoover Police Chief Nick Derzis said. “This is just an example of the type of devotion to duty and selfless effort that Washington delivers to us everyday.”
-Fire medic George “Buddy” Ingleright for his long service and his dedication to learning new skills to better serve the community and save lives.
“Buddy is a member of our peer support team and sits on the State Emergency Medical Control Committee and has been on that committee for the last seven years representing the professional firefighters of Alabama,” Pelham Fire Chief Mike Reid said.
-Detective Todd McCann, Sgt. Brad Jordan, Detective Isaac Cruz and Detective Donnie Peterson for their work investigating internet crimes against cases involving minors and their continued efforts against the exploitation of children.
“We have four dedicated individuals in the city of Pelham that choose to do this job,” Pelham Police Chief Brent Sugg said. “They never shy away from it. They work diligently to put bad people in jail.”
Shelby County Sheriff’s Department
-Sgt. Jamie Moore for his long-standing service and his actions in a case responding to a woman having a mental breakdown. He was responsible for de-escalating the situation and rescuing the woman’s baby, who was left alone in a hot car with the windows rolled up on a day that reached 115 degrees.
“He displayed courage and common sense to de-escalate the situation, and a steadfast devotion to duty,” Sheriff Floyd Bonner said.
University of Montevallo Police Department
-Officer Cameron Davis for his dedication to his job and willingness to show up no matter the situation.
“Cameron is an effective part of our team’s success,” Montevallo University Police Chief Tim Alexander said. “As a team we chose him based on that consistent level of professionalism, showing the quality of service.”
The luncheon concluded with Shelby County Chamber President Kirk Mancer thanking the first responders for their hard work and dedication to their community.
“Thank you all so very much for being here,” Mancer said. “Each of our recipients and their colleagues in Shelby County make it an even safer place to live and do business.”