A Marietta firefighter was named Public Safety Employee of the Year during a Cobb Chamber of Commerce event on Monday, Oct. 2.
The annual event honors public safety employees from throughout the county and kicked off a week-long celebration of those workers and their efforts on behalf of the community. Public Safety Appreciation Week runs Oct. 2-8.
The employee of the year, Lt. Herman Trautwein, was on vacation in Daytona Beach last year when he spotted two people who had been struck by lightning while in shallow water. Without regard to his safety, he ran to help pull the man and woman from the water and began CPR on the victims. Trautwein was able to save one of the patients.
Cobb County Firefighter Mark Blesener and Marietta Police Officer Scott Davis were awarded Medals of Valor during the Monday ceremony. Blesener helped rescue a hypothermic woman on the Chattanooga River after being lowered from a helicopter. Davis was twice wounded in a gunfight, but still managed to relay a description of a vehicle that fled the scene of the shooting.
Cobb Fire and Emergency Services Capt. Josh Taylor and Cobb Police Det. Steve Hammond received the Award of Merit for their creation of the police Tactical First Aid program. This helps Cobb officers provide immediate care to injured victims and increases their chance for survival. The Marietta Police Morning Watch, consisting of Officers Michael Malcolm and Kenyon Jackson, also earned the Award of Merit for their actions during the same August 2016 gunfight that Davis was wounded in.
Acworth Police Lt. Curtis Endicott and Smyrna Police Master Patrol Officer Louis Defense both received the Distinguished Achievement Award, recognizes an individual whose service and performance has exceeded the demands of the job.
Defense, a 16-year-veteran on the force, teaches the Smyrna Citizen’s Police Academy and founded the cit’s “Call Before You Go” program that helps escort business owners making financial deposits. Endicott, who has spent 30 years in public safety, is known for new ideas, such as Acworth’s Quality of Life unit, which enhances safety in parks.
Nominations for the awards program were received from public safety agencies throughout Cobb County, including police, fire, sheriff’s office, campus police and EMS.
For information on how you can participate in the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Public Safety Appreciation Week, go to cobbchamber.org/member-services/appreciation_week.aspx.