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THE NATIONAL LIBERTY MUSEUM CELEBRATES EXCEPTIONAL POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS AT 14TH ANNUAL AWARDS OF VALOR CEREMONY PRESENTED BY THE PHILADELPHIA AREA CHEVY DEALERS GROUP
Tri-State Area Heroes Honored On September 19 for Exceptional Acts of Bravery and Community Service
The National Liberty Museum will present fifteen Awards of Valor to police officers and firefighters in the Greater Philadelphia area on Thursday, September 19 at 7:00 PM in the Museum’s Liberty Hall. Now in its 14th season, the Awards of Valor sponsored by your local Chevrolet Dealers, honors extraordinary police officers and firefighters for their remarkable acts of heroism and for being role models in their communities.
The ceremony will be emceed by NBC10 reporter Harry Hairston. Guest speakers for the event will include Mayor Jim Kenney, and representatives from both the Philadelphia Fire Department and Philadelphia Police Department, and President and General Manager of Reedman Toll Auto World Bill O’Flanagan.
Heroes are nominated for one of four categories: 1) valor in emergency response - individual; 2) valor in emergency response - team; 3) meritorious community service-individual; and 4) meritorious community service-team. After receiving over 60 submissions this year from citizens, police and fire chiefs, community activists and town administrators, the judging was then carried out by the National Liberty Museum’s leadership in consultation with Chevrolet. The stories of the Awards of Valor winners will be displayed in the National Liberty Museum’s Live Like a Hero gallery for one year in a captivating visual exhibit for all museum-goers to see.
“The Awards of Valor recipients have stories that are gripping and inspiring, representing the very best of what the Museum considers ‘everyday heroes’,” said Gwen Borowsky, Executive Director of the National Liberty Museum. “This Award recognizes the brave individuals who selflessly and unhesitatingly put themselves in dangerous situations to keep all in the community safe. They are an inspiration to everyone in law enforcement and in the communities they serve.”
“None of the Awards of Valor recipients are looking for an award that distinguishes their efforts, and if you were to ask any of these individuals, they would remind you very quickly ‘I was just doing my job’,” said Bill O’Flanagan President Reedman Toll Auto World. “The Awards of Valor honor these conspicuous acts of bravery, heroism and compassion beyond the normal demands of first responder service.”
Some of the stories highlighted at the ceremony include:
• The level-headed response of two police women who, in an extremely tense and volatile situation involving an armed, irate man, remained calm, used outstanding communication skills, and relied on their tactical training to de-escalate a potentially deadly force situation.
• The teamwork and high stakes recovery of several victims trapped in a car during a flash flood situation.
• The coordinated efforts of both firemen and police officers that resulted in the swift capture of a random fire-bomb arsonist
• The heroic rescue by an off-duty firefighter who, waking to the screams of his neighbor, ran into their burning house without any gear, was beaten back by the smoke and retreated but then regrouped and re-entered the home to save the victim.
• The visionary police officer whose initiative and relentless fundraising culminated in the creation of the department’s canine unit to aid in the fight against crime and drugs.
• The practicing nurse-turned-police officer who not only spearheaded events to build better relationships between her peers and the community but also as the first responder to a medical call, used her nursing skills to assist a mother with a difficult delivery and saved the baby’s life.
• Two police officers who used their own passion for chess to create a semi-weekly chess club for at-risk middle school children as an alternative way to create a positive way to bridge the gap between the police and the community. The club took fourth place in the citywide competition.
• The community bridge-building efforts of an entire departmental team who creatively initiated different community events on their own time, ranging from free SAT prep classes to free Back to School shopping for students from a local homeless shelter to a large educational community fun day that successfully transformed a crime hot spot area.
• The creation of a citizen policing organization in collaboration with a suburban police department to allow citizens to actively and safely look out for each other.
2019 Award of Valor Recipients:
Valor in Emergency Response – Individual – Philadelphia Fire Department, Engine 35/D
Firefighter Joseph Rippert
Valor in Emergency Response – Individual – Cheltenham Township EMS
Lieutenant Frank Boyle EMS
Valor in Emergency Response – Individual – Lansdale Police Department
Officer Daniel Gallagher
Valor in Emergency Response – Individual – Ridley Park Police Department
Officer Michael Hanly
Meritorious Community Service – Individual – Bridgeport Borough Police Department
Officer Sharon Sell
Meritorious Community Service – Individual – Philadelphia Fire Department. Engine 71, Ladder 28
Lieutenant Joseph Gardener
Meritorious Community Service – Individual – Hatboro Police Department
Officer Ryan Allen
Meritorious Community Service – Individual – Radnor Township Police Department
Superintendent Chris Flanagan
Meritorious Community Service – Individual – Lower Merion Police Department
Officer Josephine Murray
Meritorious Community Service – National Park Service/K9 Law Enforcement
K9 Ken Franklin with Officer Nick Ianelli
Valor in Emergency Response – Team – Philadelphia Police Department, 6th District
Police Officer Alyssa Ceravolo
Police Officer Jessica Morales
Valor in Emergency Response – Team – Lower Merion Police Department/ Norristown Fire Department
Officer Christopher Kubik,
Officer John O’Brien
Officer Alexander Muller
Officer Andrew Rook
Officer Michael Pleasants
Officer Eric Fries
Officer Jeffrey Seamans
Fire Chief Thomas O’Donnell and K-9 Kindle
Detective Bryn Garner
Detective Joseph Hunsicker
Detective John Mick
Detective Gregory Pitchford
Valor in Emergency Response – Team – Upper Darby Police Department
Lieutenant Stephen Oreskovich
Officer William Redheffer
Officer Travis Hall
Officer Robert Bennett
Officer Amanda Shephard
Meritorious Community Service – Team- Philadelphia Police Department 1600
Officer Courtney Smith
Officer William Kozlowski
Officer Sean McAllister
Officer Elauda Seawright
Officer Jenn Decky
Meritorious Community Service – Team – Philadelphia Police Department 1200
Police Officer Brandon Smith
Police Officer Tramaine Montague
About the National Liberty Museum
Located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum brings liberty to life through stories of people whose character and courage have expanded liberty for all. The Museum’s exhibits, educational experiences and public programs inspire visitors to think about liberty as an ongoing human quest that we all share. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.
About the Philadelphia Area Chevy Dealers Group
The Philadelphia Area Chevy Dealers Group includes dealers located in the Philadelphia area, Delaware and South New Jersey and are proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Awards of Valor program. Their involvement with the Awards of Valor program is just another example of this Chevrolet Dealers Group’s commitment to their communities. This commitment is evident in their many other community activities which underscore the belief that in all lives there are everyday heroes. These heroes can be found in the Youth Baseball and Youth Soccer Leagues which the Chevrolet Dealers Group sponsors. This program partners a Chevrolet dealer with a local Youth Sports league. They are also supporters of the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer annual walks