FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2015
Contact: Amanda Fontaine Emily Myers Garner
MBF Executive Director SOIRÉE, LLC ~ Event Planning & PR
(601) 540 – 2995 601-212-9870
Mississippi Burn Foundation
Recognizes 2014-2015 HEARTS FOR HEROES
“FIRE OFFICER OF THE YEAR”
(Jackson, MS) – The Mississippi Burn Foundation recently honored outstanding firefighters for exemplary job performance in 2014-2015. Top firefighters and fire departments were recognized during “Hearts for Heroes,” a special awards gala presented by the Joseph M. Still Burn Centers, Inc. Event sponsors included United States Environmental Services (USES), Southern Pine Electric Power Association, Woodmen of the World, McClain Lodge, Capital City Beverages, Southern Beverage Company, E&J Gallo Winery, and Soiree, LLC ~ Event Planning & Public Relations. Held at McClain Lodge in Brandon, the Valentine-themed event featured cocktails, a seated dinner, and live music by songwriter and firefighter Shannon Sandridge. Finalists and winners received awards sponsored by Colonial Pipeline, Emergency Equipment Professionals and Merit Health Central Mississippi Medical Center. Nominations were received from across the state in the following categories – Fire Chief of the Year, Fire Officer of the Year, Firefighter of the Year and Fire Department of the Year. Fire Officers of the Year nominees must have demonstrated outstanding educational service to the community. Captain Justin Adcock of the Brandon Fire Department and Lieutenant Kyle Upchurch of the Flowood Fire Department were selected as finalists. The 2014-2015 Fire Officer of the Year was awarded to Lieutenant Robert Palmertree of the Olive Branch Fire Department.
FINALIST – CAPTAIN JUSTIN ADCOCK, Brandon Fire Department
A 2011 graduate of Hinds Community College, Adcock received his AAS in Para-medicine earning the prestigious title of Valedictorian for both his EMT-Basic and Paramedic classes and has 8 years of fire service with the Brandon Fire Department. His is a certified American Heart Association CPR and First-Aid instructor and functions as the fire department medical officer. In December of 2014 Captain Adcock was awarded the Chief Commendation of Merit Award for having 9 life saves that year. He is currently assigned to Fire Station #3 and works as a lead paramedic with Brandon’s new ambulance service.
PICTURED ABOVE: FINALIST – CAPTAIN JUSTIN ADCOCK, Brandon Fire Department
MBF’s 2014 – 2015 HEARTS FOR HEROES Fire Officer of the Year Finalist (Front Row L-R): Jeff Kuntz, Emergency Equipment Professionals, Captain Justin Adcock, Brandon Fire Department, Amanda Fontaine, Mississippi Burn Foundation, and Ann Lott, Colonial Pipeline.
FINALIST – LIEUTENANT KYLE UPCHURCH, Flowood Fire Department
Beginning his firefighting career in Greenwood in 2005, Upchurch joined the Flowood Fire Department in 2007 and graduated from Paramedic School in 2012. Proving himself to be an invaluable firefighter and medic, Upchurch and his fellow station personnel were responsible for the successful stabilization of four cardiac arrest patients during the 2014 Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Each patient was returned to spontaneous circulation and was transported to an area hospital and Upchurch and the other crew members were honored by American Medical Response for these cardiac saves. Also, on in January 2015, a serious wreck occurred and a patient’s leg was severed. Lt. Upchurch and the other officers were able to stabilize this person using a tourniquet and thus controlling a potentially fatal hemorrhage. Lt. Upchurch was issued a commendation from the Central Mississippi Trauma Region for his quick, lifesaving response. His professionalism is the model that every fire officer should display.
PICTURED ABOVE: FINALIST – LIEUTENANT KYLE UPCHURCH, Flowood Fire Department
MBF’s 2014 – 2015 HEARTS FOR HEROES Fire Officer of the Year Finalist (Front Row L-R): Jeff Kuntz, Emergency Equipment Professionals, Lieutenant Kyle Upchurch, Flowood Fire Department, Amanda Fontaine, Mississippi Burn Foundation, and Ann Lott, Colonial Pipeline.
WINNER – LIEUTENANT ROBERT PALMERTREE, Olive Branch Fire Department
Every fire deserves a quick and professional response and on the morning of August 1, 2014, at approximately 2:39am, Olive Branch Fire Department responded to a report of commercial structure fire. Engine 1 and Battalion 1 arrived first on the scene to find smoke coming from the rear of the building near the back wall and into the roof/attic area of the building. Engine 1 Lieutenant Robbie Palmertree and Firefighter/Paramedic David O’Neil made entry into the front of the building and advanced a hose line to the rear of the building to what appeared to be the seat of the fire on the first floor. Approximately 1‐2 minutes after they entered, fire conditions in the attic quickly deteriorated. Palmertree stated that he started hearing the roof structure beginning to fail. Palmertree grabbed O’Neil and they both moved to an area of safety inside a small closet. The entire roof structure of the building collapsed within seconds of Palmertree and O’Neil’s movement into the safety area, trapping them in the closet, in the rear of the building. A “Mayday alert” was called on the radio. At this same time, Palmertree grabbed the hose line and sprayed water on himself and O’Neil. Palmertree then led O’Neil over the collapsed burning roof structure to their point of exit out of the front of the building rescuing himself and O’Neil, uninjured and before the other Engine companies had arrived on the scene. In this dire situation Lt. Palmertree’s quick actions, clear head, and leadership during the incident saved the life of himself and his fellow firefighter. In fact, Firefighter O’Neil has credited Lieutenant Palmertree for saving his life on several occasions; Palmertree demonstrated a true example of commitment to making the brotherhood of the fire service safe.
PICTURED ABOVE: WINNER –
LIEUTENANT ROBERT PALMERTREE, Olive Branch Fire Department
MBF’s 2014 – 2015 HEARTS FOR HEROES Fire Officer of the Year Finalist (Front Row L-R): Jeff Kuntz, Emergency Equipment Professionals, Lieutenant Robert Palmertree, Olive Branch Fire Department, Amanda Fontaine, Mississippi Burn Foundation, and Ann Lott, Colonial Pipeline.
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