Public Safety Employee of the Year
In October, we celebrated Public Safety Appreciation Week. Each year during this time, we are blessed by the outpouring of support from our community. The Cobb County Chamber of Commerce hosts a Public Safety Appreciation Breakfast each year, and at that breakfast the organization recognizes one first responder as the Public Safety Employee of the Year. There are thousands of first responders in Cobb County, and every day they are responsible for saving lives and keeping people safe throughout the county. It is an incredible honor to be singled out and recognized for excellence among the first responders in Cobb County. For the third year in a row, a member of the Acworth Police Department has received this prestigious award. Three years in a row isn’t luck; it’s the right people on the right team with an emphasis on relevant training that can be used in the field. I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to our three winners. We are so proud of them and blessed to have them on our team.
Sgt. Brian Hunt – 2016
Sgt. Brian Hunt has the distinction of saving two lives during this calendar year. On Nov. 14, 2015, while on patrol, Sgt. Hunt discovered a vehicle that had wrecked on the side of the roadway. Upon approaching the vehicle, he found that the male victim, who had suffered a medical emergency that caused the accident, was unconscious and not breathing. Sgt. Hunt took immediate action and with the help of a bystander, removed the man from the vehicle. Sgt. Hunt then began CPR by giving chest compressions, at which time, Officer Nick Burleson arrived on scene to assist with providing breaths with an ambu-bag. Once EMS arrived, the man began breathing again, and Sgt. Hunt was credited with saving his life.
On March 4, 2016, Sgt. Hunt was the first to arrive on scene for a shooting incident. The victim had suffered a gunshot wound to his femoral artery, and Sgt. Hunt took immediate action to plug the wound and apply pressure. Sgt. Hunt consistently employs excellent critical thinking and problem-solving skills under pressure, and this incident is just one example of that. Medical personnel advised that if Sgt. Hunt had not taken immediate action, the victim would not have survived. While Sgt. Hunt is responsible for saving two lives in this short time, he is hesitant to accept accolades. He credits God with putting him in the right place at the right time to help people when they were most in need. Sgt. Hunt is the epitome of selflessness, and our citizens are the beneficiaries of his dedication.
Cpl. Stephen Bo Jordan – 2015
Cpl. Stephen Bo Jordan is an inspiration to our department, and one of the reasons that he was nominated for this award is for his selflessness. On Jan. 21, 2015, Cpl. Jordan traveled to Florida to donate lifesaving bone marrow to an unknown recipient. Cpl. Jordan had registered himself with a National Bone Marrow Donor Program when a relative was in need of bone marrow. He was not a match for his relative, but was contacted months later and informed that he was a match for someone else. Donating bone marrow requires the donor to undergo general anesthesia and have the marrow surgically removed from the pelvic region by inserting a hollow needle into the pelvic bone and withdrawing the liquid bone marrow. Bone marrow donation can help save the life of a person suffering from cancer, and finding a suitable donor is often very difficult. Shortly before receiving this award, Cpl. Jordan was notified that the individual who received his bone marrow is now cancer-free. If not for the selflessness of people like Cpl. Jordan, who are willing to undergo surgical procedures for strangers, many more lives would be lost.
Detective Kyle Arnold –2014
Detective Kyle Arnold was nominated, in part, for saving the life of a child while off duty. Remember, our responsibilities to the community aren’t relieved when the uniform comes off. Det. Arnold was at a neighbor’s residence when he heard a female neighbor yelling, trying to locate her child. There were a number of adults in the area, but no one was able to locate the child. Upon hearing the female yelling, Det. Arnold looked over the fence into the pool area where he observed the 4-year-old boy floating face down in the pool. Det. Arnold quickly jumped over the fence and dived into the pool, retrieving the child and moving him to the pool deck. Det. Arnold observed that the child was not breathing and was turning blue around the mouth. He immediately began CPR/first aid and resuscitated the child before Fire/EMS arrived. The boy was transported to Cartersville Medical Center, where he was treated and released. If it had not been for the quick thinking and decisive actions of Det. Arnold, the child would likely have died.
We have an outstanding department and I am extremely grateful for all of the men and women who are on our team. I have always believed that spending time and doing the right thing equals trust. More specifically, this means that department personnel must spend time in the community, spend time in training, spend time taking care of themselves and their personal life, and then addressing any issue by doing what is legal, moral, ethical and simply right. When this happens, the result is the type of dedicated department we have. These three gentlemen exemplify this philosophy, and our department is stronger and provides a better service to the community because they are a part of it.
By Wayne Dennard