May 29, 2013
Gordon EMS Honors Public Servants
Each year during National Emergency Services Week, officials of Gordon EMS host a cook-out celebration to show their appreciation to all local public safety personnel and to present special awards, including the Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Award
“With this being our 5th Annual Gordon EMS Celebration, we decided to do something a little bit different this year by presenting two Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Awards,” says Courtney Taylor, director of Gordon EMS, a service of Gordon Hospital. “In addition to honoring those nominated for this special award, the Gordon EMS team felt that it was only fitting to present one this year to Kathy’s husband, retired Lt. Kenny Cox, as well.”
A retired 35-year veteran of public safety, an emotional Cox accepted the award that bears his late wife’s name during the celebration held at Heritage Baptist Church on Monday, May 20. This award was created five years ago to not only honor the memory and service of Gordon County Ordinance Officer Kathy Cox, who died in an automobile accident on Aug. 21, 2008 while on duty, but to also recognize other public safety officials who share many of her extraordinary values.
“This means more to me than you’ll ever know,” Cox said upon accepting the award.
Nominees for the second Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Awards included: Angela Gillman, telecommunications officer with Gordon County E-911, Trooper 1st Class Nathan Roberts of the Georgia State Patrol, Firefighter Mike Young with the Calhoun Fire Department, Battalion Chief Heath Derryberry of the Gordon County Fire Department, Training Officer Tom Petty of the Calhoun Police Department, and Deputy Steve Yancey of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office.
“The judging of this award was once again very difficult because each of the nominees from every represented department is exemplary,” Taylor explained. “Each of them is deserving of recognition for their dedication to work and community and that made the choice of a final, single winner very challenging.”
Nominations for the award were made by public safety department heads of all disciplines in Calhoun and Gordon County, he added. The nominations were then sent to a panel of unbiased judges.
“We were very pleased to present this year’s Kathy Cox Guardian Angel Award to Trooper 1st Class Nathan Roberts of the Georgia State Patrol,” Taylor said.
Earlier in the celebration, Taylor presented the Gordon EMS Above and Beyond Award to B.J. McMahan of the Calhoun Fire Department (CFD).
Nominees for this award included Brett Silvers, Mike Caldwell, Billy Green, Brandon Goss and Mike Reynolds, all of CFD, as well as A Shift of the CFD; Christy Nicholson and Jeremy Thompson, both of the Calhoun Police Department; Missy Bingiel, Christy Jones, and Jennifer Derryberry, all of Gordon County E-911; Chris Brown of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office; and Ellis Payne, Michael Madden, Johnny Frix, Steven McCormick, Dotti Payne, Josh Robison, and Eddie Fair, all of the Gordon County Fire Department.
The nominations were submitted by employees of Gordon EMS in appreciation for their on-scene, above and beyond assistance to them. The nominations were sealed and sent to an unbiased panel of judges for evaluation.
A third award, the Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award, was also presented during the evening to honor three public servants whose actions directly resulted in the saving of a life.
One distinguished service award was presented to Officer Jeremy Thompson of the Calhoun Police Department for his actions in saving the life of a man who was partially underneath a vehicle that was submerged in a lake on March 11
“To quote Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss, ‘had it not been for the keen observation and concern for the community of this officer, this man would not be alive and recovered,’” Taylor said. “We are pleased to present this award to Officer Thompson.”
The second distinguished service award was presented to Mike Young of the Calhoun Fire Department for assisting in saving the lives of an elderly woman and her grandson following the January 30th tornado that struck the GA 53 area.
“Although he was off duty that day and had no equipment or protective gear, he never thought of his own safety,” Taylor said. “But in the words of his chief, ‘that’s just who he is.’”
The third distinguished service award was presented to Deputy Steven Yancey, who is also credited for saving a Jan. 30 tornado victim.
“Within seven minutes of the tornado passing through the Farmville area, Dep. Yancey found himself at a home in the Stone Mill subdivision that appeared to be on the verge of total collapse,” Taylor said. “With total disregard for his own safety, Dep. Yancey unhesitatingly entered the residence by crawling upward through the damaged floor to find the victim. He then directed other personnel to the scene where the patient was extricated and treated for his injuries.”
Taylor concluded the celebration by thanking all public servants for their service to Calhoun, Gordon County, and Gordon Hospital.