Honoring our first responders
by Staff Writer
Firefighters, police and paramedics rubbed elbows with local dignitaries and business leaders at the Havana Banquet & Ballroom as they picked up awards for outstanding service. The area’s chiefs nominated the winners for the honor.
Lili K. Johnson, associate dean for Central Piedmont Community College, gave the keynote speech, speaking about the importance of partnerships and preparedness. Johnson, a former State Bureau of Investigation special agent, has worked with several of the local departments to meet those goals.
The Herald Weekly is a sponsor of this event.
Those recognized included:
Lt. David Baucom,
Cornelius Police Department
A known leader in the department, Baucom was instrumental in helping the department through the difficult and lengthy CALEA Accreditation process. He helped organize and create the Community Lake Patrol that now helps patrol Lake Norman. He is currently enrolled in the N.C. Justice Academy’s Management Development Program, an 11-month long program that teaches law enforcement management skills and applications.
Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue
Fox has been a Cornelius firefighter for 40 years, and has served in every position the department offers. He has served as a Mecklenburg County Assistant Fire Marshal and was promoted to Chief Fire Marshal in 2007 before retiring in 2010.
A true leader, Fox was recognized for his years of community service and dedication to the department.
Sgt. Ronnie Messer Jr.,
Davidson Police Department
A police officer since 1994, Messer has been one of the most prolific on-scene supervisors for the department for the past six years, and he’s been the first leader on the scene for most of Davidson’s high-profile cases. He also created the department’s Lake Patrol.
Messer has been a volunteer firefighter since 1987, has been a chief at the Long Creek Fire Department and currently serves as a captain at the Davidson Fire Department.
Davidson Fire Department
Morris joined the department last year as a volunteer and has aggressively worked to complete his EMT certification and meet all of the requirements required for the position. He regularly works nights and attends all meetings even when not on duty. He exemplifies the department’s mission fully.
North Mecklenburg Rescue Squad
Truesdell joined the Rescue Squad in September of last year and has since made himself a valuable member of the team. When not in training classes, he spends much of his time making sure trucks are properly stocked and ready to assist residents.
He was inspired to become a first responder after 9/11, when he was eighth grade.
Officer Sgt. Thomas Seifert,
Huntersville Police Department
Seifert is likely a familiar name for many in the community as he is the leader and creator of many of the department’s community crime prevention programs throughout the area, like “VIP for VIP,” the teen driving safety course. He also worked with area Home Owners’ Associations to deal with crime-related issues in neighborhoods throughout the town.
He is supervising one of the department’s patrol squads, as the current supervisor is on an extended military leave.
Huntersville Fire Department Station 1
An active member of the department, Sizemore shows a willingness to work and has given up weekends and holidays to serve the community. He has an expertise with radio and communication devices, and repairs and maintains the department’s radios and pagers. He also installed the paging and alerting system in the new Huntersville Station 3.
Chad Dunn, Huntersville
Fire Department Station 2
Dunn became a firefighter when he was just 17 and has been given the responsibility of keeping up with the department’s clothing, which for 80 firefighters can become difficult. He is employed by the Municipal Emergency Services where he maintains and repairs equipment and breathing apparatuses. His work has saved the department countless dollars in repairs.
Diana Rochester, North Mecklenburg Crime Stoppers award
A two-year volunteer with the Cornelius Police Department, Rochester has given more than 1,000 hours of her time to help the department. She can be found every week helping with clerical work and assisting anyone who may need help.
She is a 2008 graduate of the Cornelius Citizen’s Academy and has volunteered with the Supports Service Division with community meetings, events and the Citizen’s Academy. q