MCFRS News Release

Gold Medal to be Presented at Annual Public Safety Awards

ROCKVILLE, Md., - The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce will host its 33rd annual public safety awards program on March 22, 2007 at the North Bethesda Marriott Hotel and Conference Center located 5701 Marinelli Road, North Bethesda, Maryland. The annual event honors the heroic deeds and community service initiatives of Montgomery County's law enforcement and fire-rescue workers.

Along with the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Department of the Montgomery County Police, other public safety agencies being recognized are the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office and the Maryland-National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County Division.

Over thirty (30) public safety workers who were involved in various incidents will receive medals of valor and community service awards. Honoring the awardees at the event will include County Executive Isiah Leggett, Council President Marilyn Praisner, Fire Chief Tom Carr, Police Chief Tom Manger, Sheriff Ray Kight, Park Police Chief Nathaniel Barber, Correction and Rehabilitation Director Art Wallenstien as well as other local elected officials. R. David Pauilson, Director/Under Secretary for the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be a special guest.

Seventeen (17) police officers (plus one canine) and fourteen (14) firefighters will receive various Medals of Valor for their involvement in nine (9) separate incidents. In the 33 year history of this program the Gold Medal of Valor has been presented only eight (8) times. This year there will be one (1) Gold medal recipient along with five (5) Silver medal, seven (7) Bronze medal and nineteen Honorable Mention medal awardees. Several of the past Gold Medal of Valor award recipients are expected to attend.

Awards of Valor are designated in several categories, including the Gold Medal of Valor which is the premier award that 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. A Silver Medal of Valor recognizes acts of bravery involving great personal risk beyond the call of duty, while a Bronze Medal of Valor is awarded to those who are involved in unusual personal risk beyond expectation while performing the usual responsibility and can also be awarded for unusual judgment, zeal, or ingenuity during an emergency situation in the performance of duty.

Honorable Mention of Valor awards recognize acts of valor and acts that involve personal risk, unusual demonstration of judgment, zeal, or ingenuity not normally involved in the performance of duties. Unit Citations are presented to those groups who have collectively performed exceptional service. The (Police) Chief Bernard Crooke Community Service Award and the (Fire) Chief Leslie B. Thompson Community Service Award are special awards presented for volunteer dedication and initiative above and beyond the call of duty over a period of time that has affected and benefited the citizens of Montgomery County.

Steve Robins, of Lerch, Early and Brewer, a Bethesda law firm is the committee chair for the Chamber of Commerce 33rd annual public safety awards luncheon and ceremony. Attendance is a "sell-out" and will top over one thousand people.