Washington County Chamber names safety award winners

HAGERSTOWN, MD – Local heroes in Washington County have been named as winners of the Fourth Annual Public Safety Awards hosted by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. The awards ceremony recognizes first responders nominated from local fire and police departments, along with public health professionals.

“We would like to thank each of these heroes, and teams of heroes, for their dedication to protecting the well-being of our citizens, making Washington County a safer place to live. Their hard work does not go unnoticed and we are fortunate to live in an area with so many great first responders and healthcare professionals around us,” said Paul Frey, chamber president and CEO.

The Public Safety Distinguished Service Award is presented to a responder who is distinguished from all others of their rank or position. He or she performs above expectation, demonstrates responsibility, and initiated a credible accomplishment in the previous year. This year’s winners are Chief Steve Lohr from the Hagerstown Fire Department and Trooper First Class Brock Marquis of the Maryland State Police.

The Volunteer Achievement Award is presented for volunteer dedication and initiative above and beyond the call of duty over a period of time that has affected and benefitted the citizens of Washington County and beyond. This year’s winner is Milton A. Bloom, III of the Leitersburg Volunteer Fire Company.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to an individual who encompasses leadership and an exceptional work ethic. He or she has consistently performed above & beyond normal expectation throughout their career. This year’s winner is Lieutenant Mark Renner of the Hagerstown Police Department.

Medals of Valor are given for several reasons. There are three levels: gold, silver, and bronze. The gold award recognizes an act of bravery involving extreme personal risk that is clearly above and beyond the call of duty, or an incident of valor that results in serious injury or death.

The silver award recognizes acts of bravery involving great personal risk beyond the call of duty. The bronze award recognizes acts of bravery involving unusual personal risk beyond expectation while performing the usual responsibility. Bronze-level recognition may also be awarded to a member who demonstrates unusual judgement, zeal, or ingenuity during an emergency situation when such an act is beyond that normally expected in the line of duty.

This year’s winners of the silver Medals of Valor are: Master Police Officer Ryan Wertz, Police Officer Joseph Williamson, Master Police Officer Jon Molineaux, Sergeant Douglas Hay, Master Police Officer Jason Bastistig, Police Officer Andrew Main, Police Officer Joseph Brady, all working with the Hagerstown Police Department.

This year’s winner of the bronze Medal of Valor is Master Police Officer Curtis Kelley of the Hagerstown Police Department.

The Unit Achievement Award is awarded to any bureau, division, section, unit, or squad exhibiting extraordinary performance, attention to duty, and for an outstanding contribution to the department or to the welfare of our citizens.

This year, our fire category-winning call of the Unit Achievement Awards involved multiple departments working on a high-angle quarry rescue. The award goes to the Hagerstown Fire Department’s Truck 4 A Shift Crew, including Fire Apparatus Operator Cory Lescalleet, Fire Apparatus Operator Daniel Garnand, Fire Apparatus Operator Zachary Schmidt, and Fire Apparatus Operator Russell Gutshall. Williamsport Volunteer Fire and EMS, Inc. crew members, Chief Donald Bingaman and Deputy Chief Michael Nokes were also on the call. The Washington County Division of Emergency Services had crew members on the scene as well, including Fire Operations Manager Samuel Anderson, Firefighter/Technician Keith Dominick, Firefighter/Technician Robert Hoover, Firefighter/Technician David Olson, Firefighter/Technician Clay Shealy, Assistant Director Jonathan Hart, Firefighter/Technician Austin McCoy, Assistant Director David Chisholm, and Director Kevin Lewis.

For our police category, The Washington County Special Response Team is receiving the Unit Achievement Award. From the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, crew members on the team include Captain Mark Knight, Lt. Mark Price, Deputy Mike Ault, Lt. Joel Footen, Deputy Matt Wetzel, Deputy Clayton Stottlemyer, Deputy Mike Palladino, Sgt. Spencer Shank, Deputy Jasen Logsdon, Deputy Mike Gladhill and Deputy/Medic Alan Matheny. From the Hagerstown Police Department, team members include Lt. John Lehman, Police Officer Brian Hook, Police Officer Tom Bartles, Police Officer Dustin Vogel, Police Officer Travis Crouse, Police Officer Keith Fuqua, Police Officer Alec Routhier, Sgt. Casey Constable and Lt. Wayne Zimmerer. From the Division of Emergency Services, the Washington County Special Response Team includes Medic Kevin Lewis. Dr. Don VanWei will also be honored as a member of the Washington County Special Response Team.

Meritus Medical Center is the final recipient of the Unit Achievement Award in our Public Health category, which will be presented to them to honor their Meritus Family Medicine Residency Program.

The Hero Award is presented to an individual or team whose actions attempted to save or succeeded in saving a human life. Recipients demonstrate strong knowledge of medical and rescue efforts, quick action, and a commitment to service on and off duty. This year’s winners are Deputy/Sergeant Howard Ward of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Christian Koontz of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Daniel Parks of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Dakota Watkins of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Trooper/Flight Paramedic Christopher Aycock of the Maryland State Police, and Sergeant Alan Matheny of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The Public Safety Awards will be held at Fairplay Fire Hall on Nov. 12. Registration details will be available at Hagerstown.org.