Wednesday, 13 June 2018 15:51

SAR honors city firefighters, police officers

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The Halifax Resolves Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution presented awards to Roanoke Rapids firefighters and police officers during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Lifesaving Award — Fire department

Past chapter President Ken Wilson said, “This evening I am honored to present this award to Lieutenant Brian Hollowell, Engineer Ramah Long, Firefighter Ben Sloan and Firefighter Austin Jarrett for their actions on April 3, 2018.”

Around 10:30 p.m., first responders were dispatched to 132 Elm Street regarding a women who had passed out and was not breathing. “Upon arrival these individuals began CPR on the patient, who was in cardiac arrest. EMS arrived and after several minutes of resuscitative efforts by all personnel, the patient regained a pulse and respiration.”

The patient was then transported to HRMC for further medical attention. “Without the efforts of these individuals, this patient may not have survived.”


Fire safety commendation medal

Deputy Chief Michael Clements has 30 years of service with Roanoke Rapids Fire Department.

During his time with the department he has attained Level III Fire Officer and Live Burn Instructor. He currently oversees the department’s training and fire prevention division and is instrumental in training Roanoke Rapids firefighters as well as firefighters throughout the county.

“Chief Clements is leading a project for the first-ever training facility in the city of Roanoke Rapids. He will be retiring at the end of June with the hopes of having the training center complete.

“Deputy Chief Clements is a dedicated employee who has helped take the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department to a higher level of training and competency. This is a once in a lifetime award.”

The citation reads: “In recognition of accomplishments and/or outstanding contribution to protect human life and property by preventing injuries or casualties due to fires.”

Fire Chief Stacy Coggins said, “I am extremely proud the chapter decided to bestow the honors upon our firefighters who daily go above and beyond the call of duty to serve the citizens of Roanoke Rapids. I’m also extremely grateful the organization chose to honor Chief  Clements. He’s a been a valued member of the Roanoke Rapids Fire Department for 30 years.”

Heroism medal — police department

“It is with great pleasure this evening that I recognize two of our local officers for their actions that took place during an incident in December 2017,” Wilson said.   

Officer Joe DeSare conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for a violation in the 1000 block of Franklin Street and during the stop he noticed an odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  

Officer Matt Hunsucker arrived to back up DeSare on the stop and at this time the passenger jumped from the vehicle attempting to run away but was caught by DeSare. Almost simultaneously a second person attempted to run away but was apprehended by Hunsucker.  

The police department honored the officers in January for their actions.

In January Lieutenant Jeff Baggett wrote, “The confrontation between Officer DeSare and the offender became a fight for survival. During the struggle the officer dropped his flashlight … and the offender attempted to pick it up to use as a weapon. As the officer was struggling to gain control, the offender continued to reach into his left pants leg. The officer was unable to call for assistance because of the intense struggle.”

As the suspect continued to reach into his pants leg, DeSare drew his weapon, continued the struggle and handcuffed the man without using deadly force.

Officers located DeSare in the 1000 block of Vance Street. “A search of the offender revealed the reason the offender was reaching in his left pants leg was to grab a pistol.”

“Officer DeSare’s restraint and tenacity for justice led to the arrest of the suspect while putting himself in harm’s way in a situation that could have led to him using deadly force,” Wilson said.

“Officers DeSare and Hunsucker’s acts of heroism reflect great credit upon themselves, the department and the city of Roanoke Rapids.”

The SAR citation reads: “In recognition of outstanding bravery and self sacrifice in the face of imminent danger, thus exemplifying the high ideals and principles which motivated and sustained our patriot ancestors.”


Law enforcement commendation medal

The chapter recognized Captain Bobby L. Martin.

“Captain Martin is an exceptional leader within the Roanoke Rapids Police Department supervising the Criminal Investigative Division which is comprised of criminal investigators, narcotics investigators and an animal control officer,” Wilson said.

In addition, he assists with the daily operation of the police department with making policy, budget and personnel matters that come up throughout the department.  

The commendation includes Martin’s work with youth, including early morning basketball games and a friendship he forged with two young men.

“Captain Martin is always ready to assist any officer that has a need or advice on how to handle cases.  Bobby understands when he hears his name called from the chief’s office that something needs to be handled immediately. He and his staff are always ready to drop what is on their plate to take care of things.”

The medal is awarded “in recognition of outstanding achievement and dedication to the maintenance of law and order.”

Chief Chuck Hasty said, “I am extremely proud of Joe and Matt for their bravery and commitment to protecting our community. We appreciate the chapter honoring Captain Martin for his valuable service to the department and our citizens.”

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