Rotary honors first responders

(ROCKWALL, TX — March 26, 2018) Several outstanding employees of first responder services in cities throughout the county were recognized at the Rockwall Noon Rotary meeting on Thursday, March 22.

Individuals with Rockwall police, fire and EMS, Fate Department of Public Safety, Heath Department of Public Safety, McLendon-Chisholm Fire Department, and the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office were presented with the Roy Hance First Responders Award in recognition of their above-and-beyond efforts to protect and serve their respective communities. Hance was a longtime Rotarian and Rockwall resident, and co-founder of the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Posse.

Congrats to the following individuals who received the award:

Fate Department of Public Safety – Officer Lance Ludtke
“One day he’s got a felon spread out and being handcuffed, putting his life in danger and facing the criminal elements of our society without fear. The next day he’s on the end of a fire hose battling a blaze that is upwards of 1,000-degree temperatures, without fear. The man is a true hero, he’s a blessing to our agency, and a blessing to our community.” – Fate DPS Interim Chief Randy Jones

Heath Department of Public Safety – Officer Michael Morgan
“He willingly takes on extra assignments, whether it’s an investigation, patrol, covering extra shifts, or public education at one of the schools. Michael volunteered this last year to take on the school resource officer position at Cain Middle School, where he currently is stationed. Michael has really stepped up and been able to perform those duties, and make really good relationships with the school staff and the children.” – Heath DPS Director Terry Garrett

McLendon-Chisholm Fire Department – Captain Kenny Griffith
“Captain Griffith served in war and is a Purple Heart veteran. He carries that work ethic forward in what he does every day for our department. It’s a true honor to work with somebody who is totally selfless and will do anything that needs to be done anytime of the day. I know that I can rely on him and in the lack of presence of anybody else, it’ll get done.” – McLendon-Chisholm Fire Chief Robert Jones

Rockwall Fire Department – Firefighter Max Raney
“Max is one of those guys who doesn’t seek recognition, but he’s a super sharp firefighter and he cares a lot about the people he works with. He’s one of those guys who you know when he’s out on the street he’s going to do the right thing, whatever that may be at the time.” – Rockwall Fire Chief Kenneth Cullins

Rockwall Police Department – Detective Phillip Young
“Detective Young is passionate about his job. He’s also enthusiastic and he strives for excellence every day. He was selected as a detective in 2013 where he specializes in forensics investigations. Currently he just came back from a five-week training in Alabama with United States Secret Service, so that he can now do forensics investigations on cell phones, computers and other electronic devices. He and Detective Laurie Burks also came up with Santa Cops 4 Kids fundraiser benefitting the Children’s Advocacy Center of Rockwall County, and in two years have raised over $40,000.” – Rockwall Police Chief Kirk Riggs

Rockwall County EMS – Paramedic Cameron Cook
“Cameron is a person who puts other people before himself. We knew from the get-go that he was going to be an excellent paramedic and caregiver. He takes care of his patients and knows what he’s doing. He’s always thinking about others and his work ethic is awesome. He doesn’t stop, he’s not a 24/48 kind of guy; he’s a 7/24/365 kind of guy.” – Rockwall EMS Paramedic Supervisor and Director of Operations Martin Ramirez

Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office – Sergeant Knox Oakley
“We got a 911 call for two guys who had gotten into a pond fishing with no life jackets and didn’t know how to swim. Sergeant Oakley and other departments responded, and Oakley quickly discovered there was a flat-bottomed boat nearby he could use to get to them and drag them out, and he did just that. Knox is one of those guys you can always depend on. He’s quiet and easy going, but he gets the job done.” – Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.