Franklin – On March 7, the Franklin Fire Department held an Awards Ceremony to recognize accomplishments in 2010 and 2011. More than 200 firefighters, their families, and friends attended the event at Franklin’s City Hall.
Fire Chief Rocky Garzarek served as Master of Ceremonies with welcoming remarks from Mayor Ken Moore, City Administrator Eric Stuckey, and Firefighter-Paramedic Shawn Donovan, who is also the Awards Committee Chairperson.
Among the highlights, numerous firefighters were honored for their accomplishments during the May 2010 flood. In a 48-hour period, the Franklin Fire Department responded to 398 rescue operations throughout Williamson County. Several firefighters who participated in two of these dramatic rescues were honored with the Medal of Valor; the first time it has been awarded by the department. Captain Thomas Chaffin and Firefighter Kris Bull also received the Medal of Valor and a standing ovation for rescuing Firefighter Wylie Jones from a house fire in the Westhaven subdivision after he was injured in a smoke explosion. Jones became choked up as he talked about the experience during the ceremony.
2011 was noteworthy for excellence in emergency medical care. Four lives were saved by Franklin firefighters who responded to cardiac arrest calls. There were four other incidents in which early intervention by firefighters prevented cardiac arrest in patients.
One patient who was the recipient of medical care in 2011 was surprise guest Sheila Fitzgerald, wife of Franklin Fire Lieutenant Bill Fitzgerald. Lt. Fitzgerald thanked those who had responded to the scene of the motorcycle accident that left Sheila critically injured. Sheila presented 12 firefighters with a Meritorious Service Award for their actions.
The ceremony concluded with the “Personnel of the Year” awards, and the recognition of those who had been recently promoted. Family members pinned the department’s newest officers with their new badges.
The ceremony will be aired on Franklin TV Channel 10. Below is a complete list of all of the awards and recipients:
Medal of Valor - On May 2, 2010, Franklin Firefighters helped to rescue an individual who was trapped on top of her car in a flooded area of Waddell Hollow Road and Old Hillsboro Road at the request of the Williamson County Rescue Squad. Those honored were Battalion Chief Eddie House, Capt. James Jennings, Lt. Todd Stapleton, Eng. Kirk McGee, Firefighters Tommy Alexander, Jason Morgan, and Todd Wilson.
Medal of Valor - Early in the morning on May 3, 2010, two Arrington Volunteer firefighters became trapped on top of a truck in a flooded area of McDaniel Road and Lamb Road while trying to rescue a man from the vehicle. Those honored were Deputy Chief Mike Culberson, Battalion Chief Eddie House, Captains Jeff Elliott and James Jennings, Eng. Kirk McGee, and Firefighters Jason Morgan and Todd Wilson.
Medal of Valor - On October 2, 2010, Firefighter Wylie Jones was fighting a house fire in the Westhaven subdivision when an explosion occurred injuring him and causing him to become disoriented. Captain Thomas Chaffin and Firefighter Kris Bull were honored for successfully removing him from the second floor.
Meritorious Service Award - On May 3, 2010, an early morning explosion in a flooded Fieldstone Farms home sent flames shooting in the air, and the fire quickly spread to the adjacent home. More than 30 Franklin Firefighters fought the side-by-side blazes in waist-deep water. Those honored were Battalion Chief Gentry Fox, Captains Thomas Chaffin, Jeff Elliott, James Jennings and Glenn Johnson, Lieutenants Ricky Cotton, Michael Pardue, Roddie Petty, Steve Raymer and Todd Stapleton, Engineers Tommy Anderson, Rodney Ballington, Richard Hasley, Kirk McGee, Mike Morgan, and Shawn Williams, Firefighter-Paramedics Brian Brandon, David Dodd, Shawn Donovan, Alex Enochs, Jason Webb, and Kirk White, Firefighters Tommy Alexander, Jeff Boggs, David Cloud, Brian Daugherty, James Fox, Jonathan Gill, Jeremy Martin, Jason Morgan, Jeremiah Rogers, Adam Vernon, and Todd Wilson.
Meritorious Service Award – On September 29, 2011, Lt. Bill Fitzgerald’s wife Sheila was critically injured in a motorcycle wreck, to the extent that she had to be Life-Flighted to Vanderbilt Medical Center, and Franklin Firefighters responded to the scene. Captain Joe Hill said, “My observation of the teamwork that was performed was outstanding. Everyone stayed calm and continued to do their job under the extreme pressure of knowing it was one of our own. I truly believe that the professionalism, care the patient received, and divine intervention saved the patient’s life.” Those honored were Battalion Chief Eddie House, Captains Joe Hill and Jonathan Jenkins, Lt. Tyler Crews, Engineers Anthony Sedlak and Jeff Standifer, Firefighter-Paramedics Alex Enochs, Chad Hollingsworth, Joe Posey, and Rory Richards, Firefighters Jonathan Gill and Keith McVoy.
Unit Citation for Valorous Conduct - On May 7, 2010, jurors convicted Keesha Washington of aggravated arson for the May 30, 2006 fire at Southwind Apartments on Thornton Drive. Franklin’s fire investigation team was recognized for their efforts which led to the conviction. Those honored were Fire Marshal Andy King, Asst. Fire Marshal Geoff Woolard, Capt. Chris Brown, and Firefighter Geoff Manfre.
Phoenix Awards –for saving the life of a patient in cardiac arrest
- September 3, 2010 – Firefighter-Paramedic Richey Schatz and Firefighter Ryan Naylor.
- June 28, 2011 – Firefighter-Paramedic Terry Storey and Firefighter Dan McDow.
- July 31, 2011 - Captain Anthony Pasley, Eng. Steve Gibson, Firefighter-Paramedic Rory Richards, Firefighters Will Farris and Brian Slanaker.
- August 9, 2011 - Captain Scott Mainord, EMS Officer Sarah Glenn, Firefighter-Paramedics Alex Enochs and Rory Richards, Firefighters James Demastus and Kyle Garner.
- October 7, 2011 – Lt. Jeff Moss, Eng. David Edge, and Firefighter-Paramedic Mark Hall.
Exemplary Service Award, Customer Service Excellence – On July 30, 2011, an Ohio family was involved in a vehicle accident on I-65 while on their way to Florida for vacation. There were no injuries but their vehicle was severely damaged and not able to be driven. The firefighters took the family and their luggage back to the station. They made them breakfast, helped them obtain a rental car, entertained the children, and even went back to the scene of the accident to retrieve a bag after they discovered it was missing. With the help of fire department personnel, less than two hours after the crash, the family was back on the road. Those honored were Battalion Chief Gentry Fox, Capt. Greg Wild, Lt. Lloyd Baxter, Engineers Richard Hasley and Larry Woody, Firefighter-Paramedic James Miller, Firefighters Kris Bull, Daniel Donegan, and Jason Morgan.
Exemplary Service Award, Emergency Medical Care Excellence - On September 3, 2011, firefighters successfully treated a gunshot victim who required airway intervention. Those honored were Battalion Chief Eddie House, Capt. Scott Mainord, Eng. Anthony Sedlak, and Firefighter-Paramedics Alex Enochs, Rory Richards, and Richey Schatz.
Exemplary Service Award, Emergency Medical Care Excellence –On September 12, 2011, the firefighters recognized and treated a severe heart attack in an unstable patient preventing cardiac arrest. Those honored were Captain Ben Marler, Eng. Tommy Nelms, Firefighters Andy Adams and Nate Davis.
Exemplary Service Award, Emergency Medical Care Excellence – Firefighter-Paramedic Brandy Demastus and Firefighter Greg Tucker were honored for successfully treating a patient who was unresponsive due to choking on October 22, 2011.
Community Service Award - Lt. Perry Phillips was recognized for the more than 10 years of service he has devoted to the success of Camp Phoenix, a summer camp for children who have survived burn injuries.
Personnel of the Year Awards:
- Support Employee of the Year – Administrative Assistant Cyndi Wright
- Rookie of the Year – Firefighter Dustin Anderson
- Firefighter of the Year – Firefighter Richey Schatz
- Engineer of the Year - Anthony Sedlak
- Officer of the Year – Lieutenant Sean Smith
Promotions – Captain Jonathan Jenkins, Lieutenants Tyler Crews, Perry Phillips, and Steve Raymer, and Fire Inspector Jonathan Dye.