Health

June 3, 2014

Gordon EMS honors public servants

CALHOUN — Each year during National Emergency Services Week, officials of Gordon EMS host a cook-out celebration to show their appreciation to all local public safety personnel and to present special awards, including the Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Award.

The 6th Annual Public Safety Celebration was held at Heritage Baptist Church on Monday, May 19.

“We are excited to be able to honor our fellow public servants for the sixth year in a row,” says Courtney Taylor, director of Gordon EMS, a service of Gordon Hospital. “In our field of healthcare and public safety, we oftentimes rely on the assistance of other public safety agencies in Calhoun and Gordon County. This is our small way of saying thank you.”

The Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Award was created six ago to not only honor the memory and service of Gordon County Ordinance Officer Kathy Cox, who died in an automobile accident on Aug. 21, 2008 while on duty, but to also recognize other public safety officials who share many of her extraordinary values.

Nominees for this year’s Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Awards included: Amy Ivey, telecommunications officer with Gordon County E-911; Trooper 1st Class Rodney Curtis of the Georgia State Patrol; Officer Jeremy Thompson of the Calhoun Police Department; Battalion Chief Chuck Poarch with the Calhoun Fire Department, Battalion Chief Heath Derryberry of the Gordon County Fire Department, and Shirley Woodall of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office.

“The judging of this award was once again very difficult because each of the nominees from every represented department is exemplary,” Taylor explained. “Each of them is deserving of recognition for their dedication to work and community and that made the choice of a final, single winner very challenging.”

Nominations for the award were made by public safety department heads of all disciplines in Calhoun and Gordon County, he added. The nominations were then sent to a panel of unbiased judges.

“We were very pleased to present this year’s Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Award to Officer Jeremy Thompson of the Calhoun Police Department,” Taylor said.

Earlier in the celebration, Taylor presented the Gordon EMS Above and Beyond Award to Ellis Payne of the Gordon County Fire Department.

Nominees for this award included Brett Silvers, B.J. McMahan, Chad Castoe, Scott Fox, Garyn Simms, J.D. Rogers, and Billy Green, all of Calhoun Fire Department; Christy Nicholson and Jim Banks, both of the Calhoun Police Department; Rick O’Mahony, Lynn Grogan, and Jennifer Derryberry, all of Gordon County E-911; Richard Cooper and Tim Reeve, both of Gordon County Emergency Management; Bill Kuhlman, Matt Flippen, Russ Jones, and Jamie Davis of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office; and Ellis Payne, Ron Chance, Johnny Frix, David Butts, Josh Howard, Byron Sutton, Dustin Silvers, Josh Lawrence, Heath Duke, and Caleb Egenes, all of the Gordon County Fire Department.

The nominations were submitted by employees of Gordon EMS in appreciation for their on-scene, above and beyond assistance to them. The nominations were sealed and sent to an unbiased panel of judges for evaluation.

A third award, the Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award, was also presented during the evening to honor several public servants whose actions directly resulted in the saving of a life or for performing an act that showed no regard for the responders own life or personal safety.

One distinguished service award was presented to Detective Eric Burns of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, who while off-duty, successfully cleared a choking man’s airway at a local restaurant by performing the Heimlick maneuver.

A second Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award was presented to several officers with the Calhoun Police Department for their actions in saving two stabbing victims. The officers honored included, Lt. Harris Housley, Sgt. David Nelson, Officer Seth Densmore, Officer Shaun Cole, and Officer Dhruv Desai.

The final Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award was presented to eight public servants who entered the frigid waters of a Gordon County pond in a valiant attempt to save the life of a child who had fallen through the ice. Those being honored included, Capt. Shane Parrott, Lt. Jack Jenkins, Sgt. Kevin Rickett, Dep. Jamey Kirby, Dep. Sean Henery, Dep. Scott Shaw, and Dep. Alex Sutherland, all of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office; and Firefighter Colton Greeson of the Gordon County Fire Department.

Taylor concluded the celebration by thanking all public servants for their service to Calhoun, Gordon County, and Gordon Hospital.

 

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