A Sheriff’s deputy who flies terminally ill patients to treatment facilities and a firefighter who builds boards that teach autistic children to type were two of the four first responders honored by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce at its fourth Annual Above & Beyond Luncheon on Monday.
The annual event recognizes first responders in the Greater Springfield area who better their community by quietly volunteering personal time, energy and funds to fill a need outside of their day-to-day duties. In addition to honoring first responders, a portion of the event proceeds go to the charitable organizations represented by the honorees.
More than 50 businessmen and businesswomen, first responders and elected officials attended the luncheon at the Springfield Golf and Country Club. Among those in attendance to personally honor the first responders were Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Fairfax County Chief of Police Col. Edwin C. Roessler Jr.
The awards were presented by Dave Statter of STATter911 Communications, LLC. Statter is a former television and radio reporter who, in his youth, was a firefighter, EMT, dispatcher and cardiac rescue technician. Dave spent 38 years in broadcasting in the Washington, DC, area before retiring in June of 2010. He has been operating STATter911.com, which provides fire and EMS news from the area, the nation and the world, since May 2007.
The four award recipients are:
Northern Virginia Community College Police Officer Jamesian “Dillon” Emmanuel, whose volunteer activities include assisting with the annual Mission of Mercy event, CAMP Med and National Night Out.
Fairfax County Police Department Master Police Officer J.T. Frey, who has retired after 28 years serving from the West Springfield station. Over the years, he organized 33 National Night Outs.
Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department Master Technician George Moore, who works with autistic children, hand-creating communication devices and teaming up with professional surfers to teach them to surf.
Fairfax County Sheriff's Office Private First Class Robert “Bob” Swartz III, a licensed pilot who teamed up with Angel Flight, a nonprofit organization that transports financially needy patients to specialized medical care. All Angel Flight pilots volunteer their time, their airplane, fuel and any other costs associated with the flight.
The four recipients chose the charities to receive donations from the event. Each organization was awarded $660 at the luncheon.
Officer Emmanuel selected the NVCC Education Foundation as his beneficiary. The Foundation was established in 1979 to raise private financial support to develop new courses and programs. Funds are used to provide various types of support including scholarships, faculty development, program support and capital needs.
Officer Frey’s beneficiary is the Officer Down Memorial, a national organization started in 1996 by a local law enforcement officer who now works for the Fairfax County Police Department at the West Springfield Station. The Officer Down Memorial is dedicated to honoring America's fallen law enforcement heroes.
Master Technician Moore’s beneficiary is Indo Jax Surf School. Indo Jax is committed to empowering disadvantaged, medically fragile and special needs children by exposing them to the ocean environment and teaching them to surf.
PFC Swartz’s beneficiary is Angel Flight Mid-Atlantic. Angel Flight utilizes more than 550 volunteer pilots to transport patients to specialized medical care. It’s a coordinating service, matching volunteer pilots willing to donate their time and aircraft to the individuals in need.
In addition, $645 was donated to the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which provides scholarships to area students.
For more information about the Chamber visit springfieldchamber.org.