Local News

October 31, 2008

Firefighter honored for heroic act

From Staff Reports

Josh Shoemaker, a member of the city of Dalton Fire Department, recently received the Governor’s Public Safety Award for an “act of heroism” while serving with the Catoosa County Fire Department.

Shoemaker, the son of David and Kay Phillips and Robert and Karen Shoemaker and a big brother to Luke Phillips, responded on Sept. 3, 2007, to a multi-unit apartment structure fire in Ringgold along with two other Catoosa County firefighters, Drew Hood and Jordon Scarbrough. While they were on the way, the 911 Center reported a woman trapped upstairs in her apartment.

In extreme heat and heavy smoke conditions, Shoemaker and Hood entered the building without the protections of a hose line, made their way upstairs and found the woman lying beside the bed. She was taken out of the building and delivered to a medic unit.

Firefighter Scott Phillips pulled a hose line to the front of the apartment and charged it. He placed a ladder to the second floor window and was attempting to enter the window to search for the woman. Shoemaker and Hood used the hose line to extinguish the fire. Shoemaker and his fellow firefighters were credited with saving the woman’s life.

Shoemaker and his wife Jenny live in Whitfield County.

Gov. Sonny Perdue announced the award recipients at a ceremony in Forsyth. The recipients were given medallions and their names were added to the Governor’s Public Safety Award monument at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

“Georgia is proud to recognize our law enforcement officers and emergency responders for their commitment to Georgia's public safety," said Perdue in a press release. “These individuals exhibit courage and dedication every day to keep us safe.”

The program began in 1998 to recognize the outstanding accomplishments and commitment of the members of Georgia's public safety community.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to pay tribute to Georgia’s public safety professionals who risk their lives daily and sacrifice time away from their families to protect our citizens,” said J. Dale Mann, awards committee chairman and training center director.

Nominations were submitted by local governments, state agencies, associations, police departments, sheriff’s offices, correctional facilities, fire departments, 911 centers and emergency medical services and emergency management agencies.

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