Posted: 11:50 am Friday, October 28th, 2016
By Joe Rock
First Responder Fridays – Past Honorees
First Responder Friday is Proudly supported by Metro PCS
Honoree for November 17th 2017
Edward was nominated by his friend Melinda Rose who said “I’d like to nominate my friend Edward Stuemke, he’s a hard working Firefighter Paramedic for Orange County Fire Rescue. He’s a father of 4 and works hard for his children. Always has a positive attitude when he transports patients to the ER. He’s on a very busy rescue. Thanks for always providing the best patient care Ed!”
Edward thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes for The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
Honoree for November 10th 2017
Mike was nominated by his daughter Cassie Suarez who said “Mike Atwood , my dad! He’s been in law enforcement for over 30 years. Last year he retired from Orange County Sheriff’s Office and went on to become a VA police officer at Lake Baldwin. At the age of 55 he’s retired and already starting a second career in a more seemingly dangerous job. His constant work ethic has inspired my sister and I to never give up on our true passions and now I’m at my dream airline and my sister is one step away from becoming an LPN. Even though he had a crazy schedule while participating on the SWAT team and call outs he always found time to make our soccer games and events . He is the first one to step in and help any of our family/friends in need, I don’t think I have enough words to express how truly lucky we are to have him in our lives <3.”
Mike thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for House of Blues.
Honoree for November 3rd 2017
Shane of Orange County Fire Rescue was nominated by his daughter Kristen Cole who said “I nominate my Dad, Firefighter Shane Gillilan. He absolutely loves what he does and doesn’t see it as just a job, he sees it as a way to help the people in need and to save lives. Him being a fireman is a way of life for him, he’s always wanted to be one and he accomplished that goal.”
Shane thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’re invited to join us in a special First Responder viewing area with free food and drinks at the next Downtown Concert Series with Rick Springfield Nov 4th.
Honoree for October 27th 2017
Shari was nominated by Stefanie Griffin who said “Deputy Shari Collins of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. She’s served this community for over 25 years. She’s been a school resource officer, and a patrol deputy. She’s touched countless lives and has always gone above and beyond. At Milwee Middle School she started the teens against crime group, she worked with PAL to bring baton twirling classes to life, and she currently is very proactive with the Casselberry homeless community. She even helped our newly formed Girl Scout troop find a meeting place. She’s done so much over the years, and continues to do so.”
Shari thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’re invited to join us in a special First Responder viewing area with free food and drinks at the next Downtown Concert Series with Rick Springfield Nov 4th.
Honoree for October 20th 2017
Brian was nominated by his wife Erica who said “I wish to nominate my husband and best friend of almost 12 years, Brian Braddock. He is a firefighter for The City of Umatilla Fire Department and an EMT for Lake EMS. He has been in the Public Safety field for 14 years and has served Lake County for 11 years. In addition to serving the citizens of Lake County, he spent 2 years in Iraq on military bases providing fire protection to the deployed armed forces. We also have a beautiful 12 year old daughter together. I am nominating him because my little family couldn’t make it without him. He provides for us by working two jobs and never complains. He is a dedicated Dad and phenomenal Husband. He deserves so much more than just a shout out!
Thank you so much.”
Brian thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’re invited to join us in a special First Responder viewing area with free food and drinks at the next Downtown Concert Series with Rick Springfield Nov 4th.
Sergeant Jeffrey Backhaus
Honoree for October 13th 2017
Sergeant Backhaus was nominated by his wife Whitney who said “I nominate Sergeant Jeffrey Backhaus. He works for Orlando PD as the Sgt of the drug division and is also on the SWAT team. He works hard to keep our city safe. He misses family events, lots of nights home with his family to make sure that he gives his all to the City Beautiful. He has a good heart and not only loves keeping the city safe, he’s dedicated to reaching out and helping the community. Over Christmas he rounded up his team to buy gifts for children in some underprivileged neighborhoods. They rode through Parramore handing out gifts to kids. He does so many things and it’s not for a pat on the back. He has been actively involved in many of our city’s major events. He’s dedicated, an amazing husband and father and would do anything for his team, and people of Orlando. He’s a true hero.”
Sergeant Backhaus thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’re invited to join us in a special First Responder viewing area with free food and drinks at the next Downtown Concert Series with Rick Springfield Nov 4th.
Honoree for October 6th 2017
Jacquelyn was nominated by Rodney LeMond who said “Jacquelyn Metzger. I nominate her because of her years of devotion and dedication as a Special Agent with Homeland Security. She has demonstrated the utmost professionalism throughout her career as a Special Agent. She raised 3 wonderful children as a single parent with love and direction still managing to juggle the unpredictable hours she would have to work. She has placed her life in danger on numerous occasions while making contact with suspects at their homes never knowing what the risks may bring. She has worked endless hours on long term investigations, she has had to make out of state trips, and even trips out of country protecting this great Nation that we live in. She has dismantled violent illegal drug organizations stopping an enormous influx of deadly drugs into our country. She has always taken great pride in her work and has always been so meticulous in properly preparing a case for trial. These are only some of the things that I have personally witnessed. She is an example for all to follow. These are my heartfelt reasons for her deserving this outstanding recognition!”
Jacquelyn thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Marlow’s Tavern.
Honoree for September 29th 2017
Ross was nominated by his friend Tim Murphy who said “I nominate Ross Cravey for a bunch of reasons. First and foremost he is one of the most SELFLESS people you will ever meet. He is married to his wonderful wife Mandy (elementary school teacher) and have a little boy and girl with another little nugget on the way. He was an active duty combat medic in Iraq and is still a combat medic in the local reserve unit with the rank of staff sergeant. His full time job other than taking care of his family and his Army reserve responsibilities is a first responder with the Winter Park Fire Department. I know it’s his job and they have to act tough around each other, but Ross has one of the biggest hearts and smiles you will ever come across in your life. He takes all of his jobs seriously, professionally, and to heart. He really cares about the wellbeing of others more than what is required by his job(s) description. His phone is always ringing off the hook with friends and family to ask Ross for help. Help like: stitches, bumps, bruises, fever, diagnosis, advice, home repairs, and just about anything you ask of him. The reason everyone asks Ross for help is because that’s what he loves to do. He loves helping anyone and everyone with anything that you can think of. Ross and his wife Mandy, their two kids with another on the way, are the nicest, sweetest, most giving and selfless family that is always smiling. Ross does his job(s) to the utmost professionalism and sincerity. You would expect that from any first responder and combat medic. I’m nominating Ross for what he does On and Off the job. He would give you the shirt off of his back and get in touch with you the next day to see if you needed pants as well. He is my hero. He is many peoples hero. He doesn’t do what he does for recognition or thrills. He does what he does because he knows no different than to help his wife, family, friends, and strangers. My grandmother lives by his fire station in WP. I sleep easier every night knowing that he will be there first to help my grandmother if something were to happen to her. Many of your listeners that not only live close to his station, but just in central Florida should feel easier knowing that there is a great selfless man who is trained and always looking to help those in need. Just meet him once and his genuine smile will convince you of what I just stated.”
Ross thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Marlow’s Tavern.
Honoree for September 22nd 2017
Brad was nominated by his wife Rachel who said “I would like to nominate my husband Brad. He is a firefighter/paramedic with Reedy Creek and on his off days he works as an RN in the ER at Nemours Children’s Hospital. He is very dedicated to the patients he cares for in both jobs. He always does what’s best for them despite popular belief and even sometimes his superiors. He is always looking into the latest medical information to stay up to date on his medical calls. Dropping a patient off at the hospital doesn’t end the call for him. He makes sure to check up on his patients later in the day. Sometimes, he will even call from home on an off day to get an update on someone he was worried about. He works with cancer patients at Nemours and dedicates his time with them to making them smile. He does all of this and makes time to raise our 2 boys, ages 3 and 6. He is their hero, and mine too.”
Brad thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for you and 3 friends on the Victory Casino Cruise ship with dining and some money to play the slots too.
Honoree for September 15th 2017
Malcolm was nominated by his wife Jackie who said “My husband Malcolm Draper has been a police officer for 17 years. He has worked patrol, investigations and community outreach. He currently works for the Clermont Police department. In his career, he has delivered babies, talked people off of ledges, jumped into a moving car to save a child, hostage negotiations, tracked the beltway sniper, sat on stake outs, and too many other things to mention. He has been away from home for long hours on many may occasions and missed holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and sometimes vacations when duty called. He has held his head high, put on his vest and gone to work everyday ready to give his best. Even so, he has been hit, spit on, had things thrown at him, nearly avoided getting run over and has had public opinion turned against his profession. He still goes to work to protect those same people. We are very proud of him. We pray for his safety constantly as he risks his life for the community and his brothers and sisters in blue.”
Malcolm thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for you and 3 friends on the Victory Casino Cruise ship with dining and some money to play the slots too.
Honoree for September 8th 2017
John was nominated by his friend Carol Carrion who said “I’d like to nominate John McGrath for the first responder award he’s a friend of ours and our sons play soccer together at the YMCA. He works for the Orlando fire department Engine 10 for 28 years. He’s a very hardworking man and great father to his 2 children.”
John thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for House of Blues.
Honoree for September 1st 2017
Jason was nominated by his wife Deanna who said “Officer Jason Wiggins, Apopka Police Department. He constantly puts others before himself. His devotion to duty started before being a police officer 18 years ago when he became a United States Marine in the early 90’s. Since the time of becoming a public servant, he has been in a variety of units: Traffic Homicide Investigations, Bike Unit, Crisis Response Team, SWAT (Current), School Resource Officer, TAC UNIT (Drug & Gang Investigations), Firearms Instructor (Current), and Community Policing Unit (Current). Jason has helped mentoring youths not only within the city that he works but also youths that he has crossed paths with along the way and outside of work. Jason works extremely hard and has so many roles that at times it becomes overwhelming but he enjoys the challenge and always has an awesome final outcome! As a part of the Crisis Response Team, which is managed by NOVA, Jason responded to the World Trade Centers after the 9/11 incident and helped with intervention services for other local 1st responders who were working down at ground zero. Jason takes his job seriously and we couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Jason thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for you and 3 friends on the Victory Casino Cruise ship with dining and some money to play the slots too.
Sgt David Rodriguez
Honoree for August 25th 2017
Sgt Rodriguez was nominated by Joetta Raylots who said “Sgt Rodriguez has been with the Florida Highway Patrol for 19 years. He is also a big advocate for the Move Over Law, as he was severely injured when a motorist did not move over and crashed into him in 2012. He was hospitalized for several months due to this crash. Sgt Rodriguez previously was on The FHP Motors (Motorcycles) and Traffic Homicide Division. He now works and serves Orange County in Orlando”.
Sgt Rodriguez thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Tijuana Flats.
Honoree for August 18th 2017
Jose was nominated by Augusto Herrera who said “I nominate my friend Jose who is a Deputy Sheriff for Osceola County. He is a wonderful husband and a father of two girls. He is honestly one of the most giving, caring people I have ever met. He is very selfless, does his job well, believes in being fair and has a heart of gold. The guy gets giddy like a kid over small things in life but can kick ass during the day to keep people safe. I would like to nominate Jose because he genuinely deserves it and he doesn’t get much opportunity to treat himself, especially since he’s outnumbered in his house by 3 women lol. But in all honesty he’s a great guy anyone would be grateful to know.”
Jose thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Tijuana Flats.
Honoree for August 11th 2017
Kody was nominated by his sister Kaylyn Stein who said “I would like to nominate my younger brother, Kody Cooper. He is in his first year as a firefighter at station 31 in Sanford, FL. He has taken on the role with such pride and I couldn’t be prouder of him. He has always been my hero, but now he is one of the heroes in the lives of the people of Sanford.”
Kody thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for you and 3 friends on the Victory Casino Cruise ship with dining and some money to play the slots too.
Kevin and Marette Sims
Honorees for August 4th 2017
Lieutenant Kevin Sims and Corporal Marette Sims are a husband and wife nominated by Diane Nelson who said “I nominate a husband and wife team. Kevin and Marette Sims. Kevin is a paramedic firefighter with Seminole County, Marette is a Winter Springs police officer. They give selflessly to their community while raising their family. Marette is a cancer survivor and advocate for First Descents for young cancer survivors. She actually lost part of her foot to cancer but remained on the job not missing a beat. They are an amazing family that deserves to have something given back to them!They will help anyone at anytime and have done so many times.”
Kevin and Marette thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for both of and 2 friends to the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.
Honoree for July 28th 2017
Jesse was nominated by past honoree Amy Morton who said “I would like to nominate Jesse Harris. Jesse is an engineer with Orange County Fire Rescue. Jesse not only goes above and beyond while on duty, but off duty also. Jesse is a true brother in the fire service. A great mentor to our probies and is always leading by example. When off duty Jesse is always putting together fundraisers for fellow firefighters that are sick or just need a helping hand. Jesse also Coordinates fund raisers for shop with a firefighter. I could not think of a more stand up guy that is more deserving of this award .”
Jesse thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for yourself and 3 friends to the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.
Honoree for July 21st 2017
James was nominated by his wife Connie who said “I would like to nominate my husband, James Froelich. He has worked with Osceola County Sheriff’s Office for ten years, five of which he has run the Sheriff’s Office Explorer program trying to build the relationship between law enforcement and the youth of the community. He has dedicated his time to working with young adults, striving to ensure that they have the best opportunity to become a productive member of society. His drive and dedication to these kids makes me so proud of him and the work he does. To put it in a nutshell, one of his favorite sayings when working with kids is,” It’s easier to build a strong kid than fix a broken adult.”
James thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a gift card for yourself and 3 friends to the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues.
Lieutenant Jason Forte
Honoree for July 14th 2017
Lieutenant Forte of Flagler County Fire Rescue was nominated by his sister Ashley who said “My brother Jay has been a firefighter/paramedic for 10 years. He is one of the hardest working people I know in an effort to provide for his young family. He was promoted to lieutenant three years ago and continues to strive for the best. He deserves recognition for his hard work. We love you! “
Jason thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes for The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
Honoree for July 7th 2017
Scott was nominated by his mother Sandy who said “Detective Scott Koffinas with the Osceola county sheriff’s office. He is there for everyone on and off duty. He also was officer of the year in 2013 for pulling someone from a burning building and a drowning child from a pool. He was told if he had not done what he did the child would have died. The man from the burning building was also fine because of his quick action.”
Scott thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for House of Blues.
Honoree for June 30th 2017
Joshua was nominated by his father Emil who said “My Son Joshua is a Firefighter/ EMT with the Apopka Fire Dept., Station 2. He is also the youth Minister at our Church and helps 100s of Kids in Orange County. He was also a recent participant in the Firefighter Combat Challenge and not only did he finish the course (that sent 6 firefighters to the hospital) he beat his opponent. I am very proud of him and would like him to recognized you guys.”
Joshua thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Rock & Brews courtesy of Sun State Ford.
Firefighter Amy Morton
Honoree for June 23rd 2017
Amy was nominated by Joe Spainhow who said “Firefighter Amy Morton of Orange County Fire Rescue. Besides serving as a public servant, Amy also volunteers for various fundraisers and awareness activities including Pet Therapy at local hospitals. She has always gone up and beyond the call of duty for the citizens of Orange County and her fellow firefighters.”
Amy thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Rock & Brews courtesy of Sun State Ford.
Sgt. John Shea
Honoree for June 16th 2017
Sgt. Shea was nominated by Jennifer Shea who said “Sgt. John Shea of the Winter Springs Police Department. He volunteers as Santa for Shop With A Cop, is a traffic homicide investigator and reconstructionist, and does many good things to interact with the community. He goes in on his days off, and strives to better the relations between the PD and the residents of the city. He even rode a motorcycle dressed as Santa this past year to make kids happy… the kids have terminal illnesses.”
Sgt. Shea thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes for The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex courtesy of Sun State Ford.
District Chief Bryan Davis
Honoree for June 9th 2017
Chief Davis was nominated anonymously. His nominator said “Orlando Fire Dept. District Chief Bryan Davis was the responding fire officer in charge during the Pulse shooting. His actions working quickly to facilitate triage and emergency care for victims saved many lives. He does not get the recognition he deserves. He has been with the OFD for 18 years and unfortunately these professionals are rarely recognized as it is a thankless job. He is a hero.”
Chief Davis thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Rock & Brews courtesy of Sun State Ford.
Lieutenant Carter Gowen
Honoree for June 2nd 2017
Carter was nominated by Diane Smith who said “I would like to nominate Carter Gowen for “the first responder of the week” award. He is a lieutenant with the Orlando Police Department. His official title is midnight shift watch commander. In his own words, “when everyone else goes home, my duties begin”. One of duties is supervising the S.W.A.T team, a very dangerous responsibility. He was recently involved in a successful manhunt. He is the dedicated father of two lovely little girls and the husband of a local attorney who worries about him every time he leaves the house for work.it is my honor, Diane Smith, to nominate Carter Gowen for “first responder of the week.”
Carter thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card for Rock & Brews courtesy of Sun State Ford.
Honoree for May 26th 2017
Bobby was nominated by Teri Grigsby who said “Officer Bobby Draughon is an officer who goes beyond the call of duty to protect and serve. He served in the military before becoming an Oviedo Police Officer. Not only is he an outstanding officer caring about his work product and service to our community, he gave his kidney when he heard a SCSO Deputy was in need and would die if he did not receive a kidney quickly. Bobby stepped up right away without hesitation. He donated his kidney to save a life and was trying to keep it on the down low because he truly did it to help a fellow officer, not for the notoriety. He is the true definition of a hero and deserves the recognition.”
Bobby thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes for The Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex courtesy of Sun State Ford.
Honoree for May 19th 2017
Ryan was nominated by Steve Smith who said “I would like to nominate FF/Paramedic Ryan Gallik with the St. Cloud Fire Department. I met Ryan about two years ago when I was invited to attend a regional safety meeting with numerous other fire department representatives, that he was chairing. Ryan has a strong passion for firefighter safety. Not only in doing our jobs, but also when we are not. Cancer and suicide are becoming the number 1 killer of firefighters. Ryan formed the group, “Florida Firefighters Safety and Health Collaborative”. The group’s mission is their commitment to focus on Firefighter Safety and Health by providing education, training, and sharing of best practices to minimize risks and exposure to Florida’s Firefighters. There is not a day that goes by that Ryan does not send/post something, encouraging to other firefighters to either reach out for help for themselves or another brother or sister firefighter that may be contemplating suicide. Ryan is also taking part in the “FACE Team” which is taking a strong stance on providing guidance to the region on steps to take to improve the health, live, and longevity of our fire services members from cancer. These are just a couple of reasons why I am nominating him.”
Ryan thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a pair of VIP tickets for this Saturday’s Downtown Concert Series with George Thorogood and a $100 gift card for Ace Cafe’.
Honoree for May 12th 2017
Donald was nominated by Alessandra Willis who said “I would like to nominate Donald Landry. Donald is a Road Ranger on the I4 project in Orlando. While most people think police, fire, EMT for first responders many don’t realize that on the major highways we have brave men and women putting themselves in harms way to help stranded motorists and provide protection at accidents to the motorists involved and the police and rescue on scene. MANY times being there even before police or fire rescue arrive.
Donald is a hard working person who loves his job with a passion and doesn’t see it as “just a paycheck” he loves helping people and protecting others even if it’s a great personal risk. He is efficient, kind, funny, and knows what he’s doing and offers great advice and support when you need it. I nominate Donald the Road ranger because I feel this little known service needs more attention than what they are given because these are angels on I4 to motorists of all vehicles and from all parts of the country and world.”
Donald thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 Visa gift card from TEN Spring Water.
Honoree for May 5th 2017
Victoria was nominated by William Hand who said “I would love to nominate officer Victoria Futch, of Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, East Division. Officer Futch and I have been dealing with each other for almost a year now. I lost my Fiance in a tragic car accident on Semoran Blvd May 5th 2015. She was a passenger in a car hit by another careless driver while she was on her way home from work. I went through severe depression, and did not have a will to live. I lost my home, job, visitation rights to my now 4 year old daughter, everything I used to live for. I just panhandled to get money to eat, lived outdoors, and generally did not have a purpose in life anymore. Officer Futch, being the kind person she is, would actually come talk to me, it felt like she cared, even when no one else has. (I’m in tears writing this as we speak) Miss Futch didn’t care that I was breaking ordinances. She is a kind woman that I enjoyed talking too. She treated me as a human, when I was acting like an animal. I haven talked to Miss Futch in a few months, because, her words helped me move on to a new chapter in my life. I am now employed, rent a room so I’m not on the streets anymore, and actively participate in the growth and development of my beautiful 4 year old daughter. I will never be able to repay Officer Futch for helping me through my trials and tribulations, but please WMMO, select her for this award. I know there are plenty of first responders that deserve this award as well, but I want Miss Futch to know, she made a difference in my life. Is this not what this award is about? Thank you in advance.”
Victoria thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 Visa gift card from TEN Spring Water.
Honoree for April 28th 2017
Darren was nominated by his daughter Jessica Barbeau who said “I would like to nominate my amazing Dad, Deputy Sheriff Darren Barbeau of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. He is a wonderful and dedicated Law Enforcement Officer. He takes great pride in what he does. He goes above the call of duty. Even when he’s not on duty, he’s been in situations, where he was first to help those in need. He is loved and respected by many, but family is first to him. I’m so proud of my Dad, for all he has done for the community and for his family.”
Darren thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 Visa gift card from TEN Spring Water.
Honoree for April 21st 2017
David of American Ambulance was nominated by his wife Danielle who said “I nominate David Adams. We have a special needs daughter who was born 12 weeks early. She has medical issues that required the two of us to become very familiar with all things medical. It was very difficult for me to grasp but David he picked it right up and a love of the medical field was born as well as an opportunity for him to understand and subsequently take better care of our daughter. So David went to 2.5 years of school full time while working full time to become a paramedic. He loves his job and loves to help his patients.”
David thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card from Bonefish Grill.
Honoree for April 14th 2017
Scot was nominated by Ben Nutkins who said “My nomination goes to Senior Forest Ranger Scot McLaren of the Florida Forest Service. He has been my Senior Ranger for the last two years. His knowledge of wildfire is undeniably top-notch in the state. Scot is one of the hardest working individuals I know and would never hesitate to do anything for a fellow Ranger. He consistently leads by example, and is an excellent mentor. Scot started his career in Gainesville, Florida before transferring to Orlando. He’s been with the Florida Forest Service for 21 years and worked the 1998 fire season in Central Florida. The stories and experiences Scot has shared have left a substantial impact on my fellow Rangers and myself. With the 2017 fire season starting as early as it has this year, I am proud to know we have the leadership of Scot to guide us. In addition to firefighting, he frequently conducts Smokey Bear programs by educating the youth about the positive benefits of prescribed burns, while addressing the negative impacts that wildfires can cause. He absolutely deserves the recognition of First Responder Friday, as he proves his commitment to the job and to the community day in and day out.”
Scot thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card from Bonefish Grill.
Honoree for April 7th 2017
Tara was nominated by her husband Kevin who said “My wife Tara Brubaker of the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. Tara has been a member of the Sheriff’s Office for approximately 10yrs and is extremely dedicated to the job. Tara is the type of person who goes above and beyond what is expected of her and while investigating cases never leaves a stone unturned. Because of her tenacity she was able to get a suspect to confess to lewd acts upon a child, merely because she had a bad feeling and refused to let it go. Tara has worked in many different areas of the agency to include digital forensics, where she worked on cases to protect the safety of our children from sexual predators who prey upon our children through the internet. Tara is also a member of the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and a Field Training Deputy responsible for the training of the new Deputies to the agency as well as a mentor to those in the Police Academy. In her spare time Tara also coaches youth soccer and volunteers for different activities at our children’s school and the boys and girls club of Altamonte Springs. Tara is continually giving the community and is definitely a god send to those she serves.”
Tara thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card from Bonefish Grill.
Honoree for March 31st 2017
Dan was nominated by Joe Hartwig who said “Dan Madden is a first responder at Station#1 “The Big House” in Orlando. Dan & Co. responded to the Pulse shooting that night and were first on scene. They had to stay overtime until FBI debriefed and released them later that morning. Dan has a son in Special Olympics and his family volunteers,tirelessly, and his daughters play Unified Volleyball with their brother. I have known Dan for many years and he is always first in line to help. Good man and a great family!”.
Dan thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card from Duffy’s Sports Grill.
Darin Michael Stevens
Honoree for March 24th 2017
Darin was nominated by his girlfriend Ashley Straub who said “I nominate my long-time friend and now boyfriend of 2 years, Darin Michael Stevens. My decision to do so has no bearing on our relationship status but every bit on his true talents as a medical professional. Currently, Darin works as an EMT in the Emergency Room at Orlando’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, Orlando Regional Medical Center. He was the only one of his graduated EMT class to have been offered 3 different positions at ORMC during his interview and was allowed to pick the one he wanted, and he chose the ER. Darin shows extreme calm during storms, very focused on healthcare and has amazing leadership skills to focus and center patients when they need his care. Additionally, Darin takes initiative and goes above and beyond without being asked. As an example, Darin is a long-time volunteer of the hospital’s Hurricane Emergency Response Team (HERT) which was activated for several days during Hurricane Matthew when the hospital was on high alert. He runs in when others run out and was present during the aftermath of the Pulse Club Shooting. Darin worked tirelessly without complaint for several weeks following the incident to assist those affected. He considered himself “blessed” at the opportunity to impact lives in a positive way through health care but never seems to give himself the proper credit he deserve for such great courage. He once said, he wouldn’t want to be anything else but the brain surgeon/ ER doctor he hopes to be after he graduates. Please, pick him for this. He undoubtly deserves to be recognized for his efforts in protecting Orlando during Hurricane Matthew and Pulse Nightclub Shooting. It is heroes like him that allow all the rest of us to sleep at night.
Darin thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card from Duffy’s Sports Grill.
Honoree for March 17th 2017
Craig was nominated by Melissa Chastain who said “Deputy Craig Campbell at Orange County Sheriff’s Office. He has served with our agency for over 16 years and I have the pleasure of not just calling him a fellow coworker, but a very dear friend. He also is a veteran in the US Air Force and has served several tours overseas since 911. He always graciously puts others before himself and treats others with respect. He has been my hero for many years for his service not only to Orange County but to our beautiful country. Thank you for all you do my friend!!”
Craig thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $100 gift card from Duffy’s Sports Grill.
Honoree for March 10th 2017
Larry was nominated by Karen Armstrong who said “He takes his job so serious and that is an understatement!!! He is EMT of the year for Orange County. I feel he deserves more recognition. He takes care of people when he is not even on the clock. Just recently he saw someone in distress after being thrown from their boat. The person hit the prop and was bleeding profusely. He took right over and made sure he was taken to Halifax Hospital. His concern for others never stops.”
Larry thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex which includes lunch with an astronaut.
Honoree for March 3rd 2017
Robert was nominated by Amanda Baptist who said “I would like to nominate my husband, Robert Baptist. He currently works as a firefighter/paramedic for Kissimmee FD and a paramedic for Nemours Children’s Hospital. He is dedicated to both companies. His passion is taking care of people and helping them “feel better”. He has been a paramedic for almost ten years, but recently started his career as a firefighter to fulfill his passion. We are very proud of him!
Robert thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex which includes lunch with an astronaut.
Honoree for February 24th 2017
Neal was nominated by Tasha De La Santos who said “My brother in law of 20 years OPD officer Neal Arnold. I first met Neal when I was around 14 years old. He started dating my sister, I never knew that he would be the man that he has become. Neal started figuring out what kind of person he wanted to be. He joined the Airforce!! I was so proud and scared for him and my sister but he did it anyway. He was deployed three different times. Each time he left my sister and their young daughter to fight for this country. After doing two tours, Neal got out of the Air Force and still wanted to help this world. He then became an officer in Titusville. He helped with several large busts that made our town safer. A few years back he made the move to be part of OPD. Since being part of this team, he has seen things no human should ever see. He was part of the team that helped the young singer that was shot and killed. He helped pull people to safety at Pulse. He was part of finding our newest “cop killer”…. seeing all of this, doing all of these things, to protect me and YOU, he never talks about what he has done. He keeps that burden to himself and never brings it home to effect my sister. He never wants a thank you, it simply is who HE IS. I love, him I thank him. Thank you for being a great husband, thank you for being a great dad, thank you for being the best brother I could ask for and thank you for protecting this world everyday I love you officer Arnold.”
Neal thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a pair of tickets to see Kansas at Plaza Live in Orlando on March 17th.
Sgt Thomas Padgett
Honoree for February 17th 2017
Sgt Padgett was nominated by Autumn Resimont who said “I’m nominating my brother-in-law Sergeant Thomas Padgett with the Winter Springs PD. He has been a police officer for 14 years. He also serves on the SWAT team as a sniper and before that he served our country in the Army. He is an exemplary man and someone all police officers should strive to emulate. He works over 70 hours a week and does so without complaint. He is a great man, a great husband and father and a great police officer.”
Thomas thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a pair of tickets to see Kansas at Plaza Live in Orlando on March 17th.
Honoree for February 10th 2017
Sean was nominated by Allen Pittman who said “Sean Holycross Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. Longtime friend who is very giving and is a credit to his badge. Former Marine Corp vet. Just an all-round good guy.”
Sean thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Honoree for February 3rd 2017
Johnny was nominated by Annette Ferguson who said “Johnny Register of Lakeland Fire Department is one of the most caring, loving men. Loves his job takes care of his very ill wife of 30 + years always a smile on his face & never gives up. Always willing to lend a helping hand.
Johnny thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Honoree for January 27th 2017
Jason was nominated by Alexis Rivera who said “Jason Duran , Florida’s highway patrol criminal investigator.
I work for a construction company in Kissimmee called Jr Davis construction and my construction site is at Disney’s university road widening. Highway patrolman Jason Duran is there every day from 9-3 making sure we are safe on the side of the road and he stays there all day to make sure we are . He’s a great person he is also in the US Army Reserve.”
Jason thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Honoree for January 20th 2017
Firefighter Ben Green was nominated by his mother in law who said “I would love to nominate my son-in-law Ben. He is not only my son, but my Hero! He goes out every day and night and saves others’ lives without thinking of himself. He keeps working, going to school, and also teaches classes. He also adopted my daughter’s son, then they had an amazing son who is Autistic. He finds time to be an amazing Dad and husband. These guys are always there for everyone else in need, but Ben, he makes time for his wife, and his sons. Ben, you will always be a Hero in my eyes!”
Ben thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Trooper Michael Allen
Honoree for January 13th 2017
Trooper Allen was nominated by his wife Chandra Allen who said “I nominate Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Specialist Michael Allen. Trooper Allen has faithfully served Central Florida for nearly four years and is regarded as a highly respected training officer, and Trooper Allen has been recognized for assisting in the resuscitation of an infant on one of central Florida’s roadways. Trooper Allen is regularly one of the highest performing Troopers in Orange County. Trooper Allen celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary this week and he is the father of 2 beautiful daughters. Prior to law enforcement; Trooper Allen spent nearly 20 years helping youth in the Apopka area through various non for profit outreach efforts. Trooper Allen is one of those individuals who places others first and always thinks of himself last.”
Michael thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Honoree for January 6th 2017
Linnette was nominated by her husband David Johns who said “She is the V.P.R.N. Surgical Services Florida Hospital. During the Hurricane just like in the past and the Terrorist attack she drops everything and heads in or stays on the job with suitcase ready to Run the Surgical Operations. This time she only had to stay/sleep in her office for 3 days while the hospital was on lockdown. She may have gotten a total of 3 hours of sleep. She’s been doing this for over 20 years. I give credit to her and many other people for their hard work and dedication. I am an Electrical Lineman and have many years experience away from home and family when duty calls so I appreciate Everyone who works and volunteers their time and efforts.”
Linnette thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Lieutenant Stan Priester
Honoree for December 16th 2016
Lieutenant Stan Priester was nominated by his wife Debra who said “Stan has been a Fire fighter for 26 years & 9 months. He is presently a Lieutenant for Lake County Fire Rescue. He is very much liked by his co workers, administration, and best of all, his patients. He has a bedside manner like no other. He takes his job very seriously. One of his favorite job requirements is training new Firefighters. He is well known for requests to work under his guidance. Stan has missed many family functions & events due to being on duty, as many others experience in this profession. Stan makes his family very proud & I would love for him to be recognized by “our” radio station. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to brag on MY OWN PERSONAL HERO!”
Stan thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Lieutenant Chuck Messer
Honoree for December 9th 2016
Lieutenant Messer was nominated by his wife Kelly Messer who said “Lieutenant Paramedic/ FF Chuck Messer
Recently Chuck ran a call where an individual had fallen. When he arrived, he found that the person had fallen while attempting to weed eat his yard from a scooter. He treated the patient, helped him back to his house and then finished his weed eating. Just another example of how Lt Firefighter/Paramedic Chuck Messer goes above and beyond in his job & for the community he serves.”
Chuck thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a $50 gift card for ABC Fine Wine & Spirits plu Sunday brunch for two at 39 Poolside Bar & Grill at Rosen Plaza.
Honoree for December 2nd 2016
Andrew of Rural Metro Ambulance was nominated by Tina Wilson who said “He has been working in emergency medical services since 1996. In 2007 while he was on the job on a scene of an accident was hit by a car that was doing about 60 MPH, He ended up with a broken pelvis and 13 additional broke bones. After 6 different surgeries he rehabilitated and started back to work as a full time paramedic in 2014. He loves his job and goes above and beyond to help other people.”
Andrew thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex which includes an in depth guided tour and lunch with an astronaut plus a $50 ABC Fine Wine and Spirits gift card.
Honoree for November 25th 2016
Joseph was nominated by Ronnie Gregory who said “I nominate Ofc. Joseph Garcia of the Lake Mary Police Department. Ofc. Garcia received a commendation for saving the life of a woman that was suffering from a drug overdose. He was also involved in the life saving efforts on two other occasions the past year. Ofc. Garcia is loved by everyone at the department and is the ultimate team player. Ofc. Garcia assists the other officers on his squad with their assignments and always volunteers to stay late and take a report even when it’s not in his assigned areas. Ofc. Garcia had an interaction with a 4 y.o. boy the other day and dug through his kind trying to find something to give to the boy. He finally found a uniform patch to give him. The look at the little boys face was priceless. Ofc. Garcia holds a black belt in Kung Fu and holds classes at his home. He is a role model for new officers entering the Law Enforcement field. Joe is one of a kind and we are blessed to have him at our agency.”
Joseph thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks you’ll receive a 4 pack of passes to the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex which includes an in depth guided tour and lunch with an astronaut plus a $50 ABC Fine Wine and Spirits gift card.
Honoree for November 18th 2016
Blayne was nominated by Traci Badura who said “I would like to nominate Deputy Blayne Badura, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, as your Frist Responder Friday Honoree, He is a 14+ year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office who eptimizes honor, diligence, steadfastness, bravery, respect, willpower and is living proof of a desire to serve his community and to contnue to do the job he loves.
In September, 2015, Deputy found himself in End Stage Renal Disease (ERSD) at the age of 44. After several hospitalizations, Deputy Badura began dialysis in October of 2015, three times a week, 4 hours each session. He has continued to work fulltime, even going straight to a 12 hour shift after receiving his dialysis treatment on many days. He has been registered on the kidney transplant list since February of 2016. For those who do know know him, he is a symbol of strength, faith and hope, all while continuing to serve.
Deputy Badura was honored as Deputy of the Quarter, East Division, SCSO recently. He will also be honored by the Sanford Police Department in early November where he will be awarded the Medal of Valor for his actions at Central Florida Regional Hospital during the active shooter situation in April of 2016. Deputy Badura came face to face with the shooter and, with no regard for his own safety, was able to return fire and to successfully force the suspect to retreat from the Emergency Department, potentially sparing lives and further injury.
I would be proud to see him be granted this well-deserved recognition. He would say “that’s my job”.
Honoree for November 11th 2016
Krystal was nominated by her mother Debra Priester who said “Krystal is a dispatcher for Mount Dora Police Department for almost 2 years. She first started this career at Lake EMS & worked there for a little over 6 years. Dispatching is a very demanding job & requires many different skills. She has 2 daughters that have had to adjust to their mothers 12 hour shifts, along with understanding her not being able to attend many events in their lifetime. She is a single Mom & has always made sure her girls have what they need & most of what they want! Krystal is known best for her ability to comfort & calm her 911 callers. She is very efficient & effective, knowing who she needs to send & what the calls detail. I would love to see Krystal be noticed for the job she is so dedicated & good at.”
Krystal thanks for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 gift card for Bonefish Grill.
Honoree for November 4th 2016
Michael was nominated by Jenna Barrett who said “Michael Euliss is a Lineman with Duke Energy in Florida. He stays busy with work during Florida’s severe weather. While the lucky ones ride out hurricanes complaining about when the WiFi will be back on, Michael weathers the storm day and night until the job is done. Bringing electricity back to those affected in Central Florida. He leaves his family, wife Nikki and baby daughter Riley, home while he works hard to make other families safe and comfortable. I’d like to nominate Michael, not only because he does his job well, but he does it without complaining. In an often forgotten and thankless job, Michael excels.”
Michael thanks for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 Dine Rewards gift card.
Honoree for October 28th 2016
Brooke was nominated by Tiffany Roberts who said “I would like to nominate my step-daughter Brooke Bellamy for first responder. She is a rookie officer with the city of Sanford and has been involved in some very crucial moments of her career already. Soon after being sworn in she was working the night of the active shooter at Central Florida Regional Hospital. She has been seen playing ball with neighborhood children. She identified a missing child in a local store. She saved a man utilizing CPR after he had not been breathing for several minutes. He was breathing when paramedics arrived and is currently in stable condition at CFR. She will be receiving an award for her actions. She is always smiling and we are extremely proud.”
Brooke thanks for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 Dine Rewards gift card.
Honoree for October 21th 2016
Tyler was nominated by Brianna LeFevre who said “I would love to nominate my firefighter/Paramedic, Tyler Crossman. He is truly the most hard working man I have ever met with a heart of gold. The passion he has for his career is like nothing I’ve seen before. From the moment I met him he has always wanted to be a Seminole County Firefighter and this year, after 6 years he is now proudly serving SCFD. With just buying our first home and starting at his dream department this year, I couldn’t think of anyone else who deserves this more. Myself and the Seminole County Fire Department are lucky to have him.”
Tyler thank you for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 Dine Rewards gift card.
SGT William Bartlett
Honoree for October 14th 2016
SGT Bartlett of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office was nominated by his wife Melissa who said “Sgt. Bartlett has served our county for 17 years now. In the past few years he has made it his mission to educate the public regarding mass shootings. He has traveled to businesses throughout the county and state to teach our community how to respond and react to an active shooter or mass casualty situation. He has worked hard to gain grant money to teach classes to our local EMS/fire and police so all agencies can be trained the same to work together if another horrific event were to take place in our community. Sgt. Bartlett is an outstanding example of what it means to serve our community and protect our community.
William thanks for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 Dine Rewards gift card.
Honoree for October 7th 2016
Jennifer was nominated by Ed Farnham who said “Please accept this nomination for Ms. Jennifer Roland as your “First Responder” honoree.I am the retired Gen. Mgr. of a large multi-national sports / medical company, and as such, we helped design and implement, conditioning programs for fire and police departments throughout the United States. Ms. Roland is without a doubt the most dedicated and deserving individual I encountered during those many years, and to date.
Jennifer graduated â€œCum Laude â€œ from Deland High School in 1998. She obtained her EMT certification at age 19 at DBCC ( now Daytona State College ), worked as a volunteer until 2001, at which time she became a professional Firefighter / EMT with Lake County Fire Rescue, where she has been serving the public for the last 15 years and counting. In 2015 she became a Certified Paramedic ( graduating as member of National Technical Honor Society )
Not satisfied to rest on her laurels, Jennifer is in her senior year, dually completing both her AA degree in Fire Science and her Bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management and is currently maintaining a GPA which entitles her the honor of being on the Dean’s list. Ms. Roland has in addition, spent most of her “free time” involving herself in community outreach, working with the DeLand YMCA ( for a cumulative 7-8 years ) in the area of personal training ( ACE certified ), and after school programs for kids.
Her dedication to others, and especially children, is noteworthy. Since 2014, she has been working with Lake County’s Fire Safety House program, which travels to schools and teaches kindergarten through 5th grade students, what they should do if involved in a fire situation. Jennifer has garnered continued respect and admiration from both associates and the communities she serves.
Thank you for your consideration and recognition of her ongoing dedication to excellence in all of her endeavors.”
Jennifer thanks for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 Dine Rewards gift card.”
Honoree for September 30th 2016
Adam was nominated by his wife who said “I want to nominate my husband Adam. Adam was living in New York during 9/11 and unfortunately it hit him hard. Adam wanted to protect and serve and moved to Orlando to be with his family. He was hired with OPD and started out as a Patrol officer and is now a violent crimes detective working his way to homicide. Adam recently celebrated his 12 year anniversary with OPD. I’ve always considered Adam to be my hero. He is loving, compassionate and completely dedicated to protecting and serving his community. I didn’t think my respect for him could get any deeper until the Pulse attack. Adam was involved with unimaginable and emotional tasks but he knew he had a job to do and did it. Adam is an outstanding first responder and deserves to have the recognition.”
Adam thanks for all you do for our community. As a way of saying thanks you will receive a $100 Dine Rewards gift card.