Highlights from the 2015 annual awards ceremony

The Division’s Annual Awards Ceremony was held Tuesday, June 2 at the Fort Monroe Theater with councilwoman Linda Curtis serving as guest speaker.

In addition to the presentation of the Division’s seven annual awards, other highlights of the evening were the citizen recognitions, including:

Madison Newton, an 8 year old whose father who has a chronic illness that presents with seizure-like activity. In addition to calling 911, Madison initiated CPR by the time medics arrived on scene.

From right to left: Matthew L. Joyner, Linda Hodges, David Moore, and Roger A. Saunders, Jr. Joyner, Moore and Saunders helped rescue Hodges from a vehicle fire.

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  • Ten year old John Barnett III called 911 for his mom, a gunshot victim. Even in that stressful circumstance, he was able to provide clear information to dispatchers, which greatly contributed to his mother’s survival.
  • There was also the rescue of Ms. Linda Hodges from a vehicle fire in which she would have perished or been severely injured, but for the courageous actions of three men, Matthew Joyner, David Moore, and Roger Saunders Jr. At great personal risk to their own safety they pulled her from the vehicle.
  • David Preddy of STIHL Mid-Atlantic was recognized as a business partner for providing several on-site training classes for our personnel on the proper use and maintenance of chain saws, which resulted in our development of an approved Power Saw Safety and Operator’s course. We also established our own Power Saw Maintenance Shop.
  • Another business partner, the Thomas Nelson Community College Police Department, was recognized for its efforts to advance public safety through the collaboration between law enforcement, the campus community, and Hampton Fire & Rescue. When responding to emergency incidents on the campus, police department personnel go well beyond the scope of responsibilities in assisting us while ensuring the safety of students.
  • Hampton Police Division's IT Unit, consisting of Eric Brockwell, Jay Morris, and Bob Kaufmann, were recognized primarily for their support of the Toughbook project - getting them imaged, up and running, and assisting with the upgrade for EMS Charts, the program used by medics for medical data collection and management. The IT unit is always willing to assist by providing support of public safety projects across Divisions.
  • Laura Thornton of Human Resources and Everett Bensten of the City Attorney’s Office were recognized for developing and presenting information to help new officers avoid common pitfalls, and for other assistance to the Division.
  • Captain Charlie Kempton received his Fire Officer designation. Achieving this designation requires a strong educational background, diverse participation in emergency services at the local, state and national level, and demonstrated involvement in the broader community, all validated by emergency services peers.
  • We had one retiree, Lieutenant Jeff Blackwell, with 32+ years of service.
  • Lieutenant Sean DeWitt received a Silver Medal of Honor for aiding in the rescue of two individual’s whose boat had overturned in the waters near the Mercury Boulevard overpass to Mill Creek.
  • There were several Bronze Medal of Merit recipients for the response to a fire that occurred on Carriage Drive in which a badly burned female resident was rescued. The fire occurred in November and the victim passed away in Sentara Norfolk’s burn unit in February of this year. Those bronze medal recipients are as follows: Lieutenants Stacey Rodman, Jeff Blackwell, and Travis Gaylord; and Medic Firefighters Brandon Price, Trevor Gruchow, Jasper Gutierrez, Ken White, and Ashley Cooper; and Vol. Firefighter DeVonte’ Fleetwood.
  • Several personnel were recognized with Unit Citations for their participation in the water rescue, Carriage Drive fire response, and for participation in the Charlottesville deployment to assist in the search for University of Virginia student, Hannah Graham.