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Public Safety News

Posted on: September 12, 2019

The Norristown Fire Department to receive the Award of Valor

Award of Valor logo


For Further Information:

Debbie Fleischman

Fleischman Public Relations

215-313-1575/fleischmandeb@gmail.com


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


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