Annual Awards Banquet
The 100 Club hosts an annual Awards Banquet to recognize the contributions and achievements of Central Texas first responders. It is our pleasure to honor emergency medical technicians, firefighters, and law enforcement officers – as well as administrative technicians and emergency communications operators – for outstanding measures, lifetime achievement, and teamwork.
The 35th Annual Awards Banquet will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2018, at the Sheraton Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center. We look forward to honoring outstanding first responders throughout Central Texas.
We invite citizens and businesses to join us in recognizing our brave first responders with a sponsorship of the 35th Annual Awards Banquet. If you have any questions, please contact Eleysa Richards at 512-345-3200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations are now open for the Guardian Angel Award – an opportunity for citizens of Central Texas to recognize first responders who have personally served them. The winners will be honored on stage at the banquet.
The department nominations have closed and the winners will be announced shortly.
Outstanding Administrative Technician
George “Butch” Dennis has spent 35 years serving the citizens of Williamson County. He spent eight years as a volunteer with the West Side First Responders and Cedar Park Fire Department before becoming a paramedic and spending the next 27 years with Williamson County Emergency Medical Services as both a field paramedic and a logistics captain. Butch served with Williamson County EMS beginning in 1990 as a field paramedic and eventually a training officer before moving to the Logistics Department.
Initially, Butch served as the only member of the Logistics Department. He kept Williamson County EMS in supplies, kept the equipment working, and kept up with the constantly changing needs that accompany the rapidly evolving field of emergency medicine. Butch has provided the citizens of Williamson County with a compassionate, kind, dedicated, and knowledgeable public servant no matter what badge he was wearing. Through everything, he remained Butch. His coworkers never needed a last name to know he would help you out, greet you with a smile, listen, and get out the duct tape. He was always there, always consistent, and always answered the phone the same way – “Butch here.” And that was enough.
Outstanding Emergency Communications Operator
At approximately 2:30 in the morning on May 8, 2016, Austin Police Department received a report of a large disturbance at the parking lot of the Lanier Village Shopping Center. 21 police unites responded to the call during the night shift, ranging from patrol officers to Crisis and Crime Scene Unites. Dispatcher Mara Daly handled a variety of requests from the unit and secured additional resources to the scene when it became apparent that a murder had occurred. During the course of the call, almost 500 individual transmissions cam in through the radio and Mara handled each one as they came in including informing emergency medical personnel they were needed on two different scenes and letting them know when it was clear to enter. Mara was also responsible for running several different license plates and drivers licenses as well as dispatching units to the suspect’s house and moving them to an individual channel. Units responding to the scene at the suspect’s house were able to detain them successfully without any loss of life. The entirety of the emergency call took more than 2 and a half hours and demonstrated an excellent mastery of handling a complex set of circumstances.
Outstanding Emergency Medical Technician
Paramedic Fiona Thomas, along with two coworkers, founded the Code Green Campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues, substance abuse, and suicide among first responders. The campaign also provides education for responders on how to provide care for themselves and recognize issues in their peers. Since the beginning of the campaign, Fiona has put in countless hours of work maintaining the website, helping to develop teaching curriculum, answering questions online, maintaining the Facebook page, and being one of those who helps the responders in need of guidance to proper resources.
The Code Green Campaign has taken off and is receiving state and national recognition. The campaign received the 2016 Nicholas Rosecrans Award, designed to recognize emergency responders who demonstrate leadership, commitment, and innovation in preventing injuries.
Known by his coworkers as simply “Count,” Demetrius Countouriotis (COUNT-TOR-TOE-TIS) put his own life in danger to save a woman straddling the ledge of a highway fly-over. With his fast, decisive thinking, Count removed the woman from the fly-over within seconds of reaching the call. Firefighter Countouriotis put his own worries aside to protect a citizen whose name he did not know.
Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer
When Detective James Colligan heard the call of a military veteran attempting suicide, he was on his way to lunch. Despite not having his ballistic vest, James did not hesitate to respond and assist. When the opportunity arose, he put himself in great danger by tackling the man and subduing him before he could take the life of himself or others. The entirety of Pflugerville Police Department, and especially Detective Colligan, should be commended for how they handled the situation. Witnesses on the scene declared James’s actions to be the bravest thing they had ever seen.
Outstanding Team Award
The Lonestar Fugitive Task Force is comprised of officers from several departments, including Austin Police Department, Travis County Sheriff’s Office, and Texas Department of Public Safety. The Task Force serves a total of 17 Central Texas counties, with the vast majority of the workload focused in Travis and the surrounding counties. In 2016, the Task Force established a component in Caldwell County in an effort to address matters in Bastrop, Caldwell, and Hays counties. In one year, the Task Force effected more than 500 felony arrests and closed more than 800 outstanding federal and state cases.
The Task Force targets violent criminals that pose a serious risk to our communities and law enforcement officers. Their teamwork, tactics, and training have resulted in zero injuries to law enforcement, suspects, or the public.
For security reasons, photo and video of the Lonestar Fugitive Task Force is uanvailable..
Michelle Borton and Randy Hunt, Austin Police Department HOST Team
Our first Guardian Angels were nominated by SafeHorns.org, an organization that advocates for safety on and around the UT-Austin Campus. SafeHorns worked with the City of Austin to research and discuss how to make West Campus a safer place for students and the citizens of Austin. Austin Police Department implemented the Homeless Outreach Street Team, or HOST, to patrol West Campus and the downtown/entertainment district. Parents, students, and businesses have noticed a positive change in the West Campus area.
SafeHorns would like to recognize two members of the HOST Team, in particular, who have served the West Campus area with distinction. Michelle Borton and Randy Hunt have been instrumental in saving the lives of many of the homeless in that area, including helping a man receive lifesaving medical care that treated blood clots in his legs and congestive heart failure and assisting a family with two children to connect to the Salvation Army and apply for public housing.
The 100 Club of Central Texas and SafeHorns.org would like to thank Officers Borton and Hunt, and all of the Austin Police Department HOST Team, for serving as guardian angels in our community.
Tamera Peterson-McIntyre, Bastrop Police Department
Our second Guardian Angel is Bastrop Police Officer Tamera Peterson-McIntyre. She was nominated by a citizen who has always known she could rely on Officer McIntyre in a time of need and that her son would always have a Guardian Angel on the streets. Always encouraging, caring, and stern, Tamera has helped many of Bastrop’s youth become productive members of society.
The 100 Club of Central Texas and the citizens of Bastrop would like to thank Officer Tamera Peterson-McIntyre for being a guardian angel in our community.
Lifetime Achievement Award
As a veteran of the U.S. Army, Deputy Chief Jen Wesley has served with the Belton Police Department for almost 40 years. Not only was she one of the first female officers hired by Belton PD, she was also one of the first female officers hired in the entire Bell County area. She came in during a time when the policing profession was not very open to women; but in she came to make it her own. Deputy Chief Wesley has held every rank possible within Belton Police Department, including Interim Chief of Police. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the citizens of Belton receive the best possible service from herself and her department. Relentless in her pursuit of justice for victim and the apprehension of criminals, she has overseen the investigative functions of Belton Police Department for over 20 years.
Jen took on the task of being Belton’s first program manager for the Texas Police Chiefs Best Practices Recognition Program, which led to Belton being the first department in Bell County and one of the first 50 departments in Texas to achieve Recognized status by the law enforcement accreditation program.
Jen has been accurately described as the “heartbeat” of Belton Police Department. She leads from the front and is often the first on in the trenches to assist with a case. It is the goal of every person in leadership to leave a legacy that will outlast their mortality and it is clear that Jen makes this kind of impact daily in the way she leads, coaches, and mentors the staff of the Belton Police Department.
Thank you to our sponsors
Blue Line Realty
Continental Automotive Group
Miller Uniforms & Emblems, Inc.
Parkinson Disease Research and Clinical Studies Foundation
In support of Texas Capital Chapter 1919, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Thamm & O’Briant Mediations
Travis County Sheriff’s Officer’s Association
Austin Strong: Relationship Building Center
CDM Smith, Inc.
First National Bank of Bastrop
The Austin Diagnostic Clinic
Thomas and Cynthia Barnes
Travis County Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association
Outstanding Administrative Technician
Laura Hutchens is described by her Chief as the “glue that holds the department together.” She goes above and beyond the call of duty on a regular basis, participating in City business even when off-duty. She volunteers with the CHIPS program and participates in events such as Christmas on the Farm, One Day – One Community, and other community events when Belton Police Department is present. She comes in early and stays late, without recognition, to make sure things run smoothly. As one of the first points of contact for citizens seeking information or services from the department, she handles herself with grace and poise. She is truly a blessing to the City of Belton and this year’s Outstanding Administrative Technician. Click here to view Laura Hutchen’s story.
Outstanding Emergency Medical Technician
Chance Bergstrom was off-duty when he was driving through a parking lot in Sunset Valley and noticed a young boy lying face down on the pavement. The boy’s mother was nearby and screaming for help. Medic Bergstrom jumped out to assist and identified himself as a medic with Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services. Realizing the boy was in cardiac arrest, Chance performed CPR until police officers arrived with an AED. Working in tandem with the responding officers, Medic Bergstrom was able to revive the child for transport to the hospital. Chance’s quick thinking and decisive actions are what make him this year’s Outstanding Emergency Medical Technician. Click here to view Chance Bergstrom’s story.
Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer
On July 5, 2015, a lone gunman entered the Downtown Austin Omni Hotel with a rifle and terrorized the lobby. Officer Carlos Lopez was third on the scene and quickly took the lead. He pursued the gunman into the hotel and fatally wounded him before a catastrophe could occur. Even after the fatal shot, Lopez provided first aid to one of the gunman’s victims. The best way to describe Carlos is in the words of the police psychologist who debriefed everyone involved, “this man is the closest thing to a hero that I have seen in a long time.” Click here to view Carlos Lopez’s story.
Justin Gower was making a routine traffic stop when he noticed something amiss: three young children in the back of the car without car seats. He radioed for Officer Hawkins, who was familiar with the driver from a previous traffic stop, and the pair made the decision to take care of the family. Instead of writing the driver a ticket, Officer Hawkins purchased car seats for the family. As police officers, Justin and Cale “look for ways to help people” whenever they can. In the words of their chief, “their display of empathy, humanity, and caring is indicative of what they and the members of [the Cedar Park Police Department] are made of.” Click here to view Justin Gower’s story.
Michael Brimble serves as a dispatcher with the Cedar Park Police Department. On September 10, 2015, he answered a call involving a young female who had threatened suicide by overdose. The information he received was very limited and the young girl’s whereabouts were unknown. The situation was made worse when information came in that multiple people planned to commit suicide together. Through Dispatcher Brimble’s hard work and dedication, he was able to match the names of friends associated with the children to known local address, where officers were dispatched and the children were recovered. Michael’s quick thinking saved lives that day and every day, making him this year’s Guardian Angel. Click here to view Michael Brimble’s story.
In 2015, the City of San Marcos suffered two major floods in five months, making many streets impassable. One motorist, ignoring the warnings, drove around a barricade and into fast-moving water. With the vehicle swept away, the driver was able to escape the vehicle before it was completely submerged and hung onto a tree to await rescue. Firefighter Jon Pakula volunteered to take the driver a flotation device. Jon was able to traverse the dangerous waters to reach the motorist and swim him to safety. Jon’s selfless commitment to others is what makes him, in the words of his Assistant Chief, “the future of San Marcos” and this year’s Outstanding Firefighter. Click here to view Jon Pakula’s story.
For security reasons, pictures and video of this year’s Outstanding Team are unavailable.
The Austin Police Department Downtown Area Command Metro Tactical Unit is a tight-knit group of 14 men and women who have worked tirelessly to lower the crime rate in Austin. From fake ID stings, to bait cars, to drug busts, these officers have made Austin safer for local citizens and the tourists wee welcome every day. They have given their time to other units within the department and to other departments in Central Texas to keep Texans safe. Their hard work and dedication to the City of Austin are unmatched and they are this year’s Outstanding Team.
Jerry Doyle was the Fire Chief and Emergency Management Coordinator for the City of Lockhart until his retirement in January 2014. He has been a firefighter for 44 years and began his fire service career in 1971 as a volunteer. He has held almost every position in the fire department, including: Firefighter/EMT, Apparatus Driver/Operator (Engineer), Lieutenant, Fire Marshal, Assistant Chief, and Chief/Emergency Management Coordinator. Jerry co-founded the Mic-County Volunteer Fire Department in 1983 and served as Chief for 128 1/2 years while simultaneously working as a paid firefighter in Lockhart. He was also the founding President of the Caldwell County Emergency Services District 4 and is still an active volunteer with Mid-County Volunteer Fire Department, where he serves as Captain. Click here to view Jerry Doyle’s story.
Outstanding Service Award
This year, The 100 Club introduced a new award: The Outstanding Service Award. Opening nominations to citizens, The Club collected nominations from across our six counties from ordinary citizens who have been personally touched by first responders.
- Angela Johnson, Rafael Kianes, Taber White, and Paula Aguilar – Austin Police Activities League
- Milton N. Pope, Jr. – Austin Community College District Police Department
- Deputy Darrell “Wayne” Wood – Bastrop County Sheriff’s Department
Scholarships awarded to:
- John Donahoe – Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services
- Benjamin Whiteley – Travis County Emergency Services Department 2, Pflugerville
- Michelle Walter – Williamson County Constable, Precinct 1
- Selena Xie – Austin-Travis County Emergency Medical Services
- Pierre Green – Temple Police Department
Outstanding Admin Technician
In the words of her chief, MaryAnn Buchanan is “the engine that keeps us running on a daily basis.” Not only is MaryAnn the administrator, but she handles the IT, human resources, finances, payroll, purchasing, and the mail! These are only her assigned duties – it’s her outside duties that sets her above all. MaryAnn was instrumental in helping the entire county implement the new database for fire information. She is the go-to expert for the entire county and can make the database others only think about. She is the glue of the department. Click here to view MaryAnn Buchanan’s story.
Outstanding Team Award – Texas DPS DTO Squad 6C1
*For security purposes, a photo of the Outstanding Team is not available
The 6C1 DPS-CID Squad conducted a long-term case targeting a large scale drug trafficking organization working in Austin. The group was trafficking large quantities of cocaine and meth into the city and were directly linked to the La Familia Drug Cartel in Luvianos, Mexico. Agents identified an auto repair shop being used by the organization to distribute the drugs. As the investigation progressed, agents identified key members of the group suspected of distributing more that 100 KG of cocaine and meth in the area and transporting it throughout the country. Because of the investigation, 25 people were indicted on federal drug trafficking charges, more than $367,000, nearly 2,000 pounds of drugs, and 13 weapons were seized.
Outstanding Emergency Medical Technician
Chisholm Trail Fire Rescue is an all-volunteer organization which covers over 120 square miles of Northern Caldwell County and a portion of Hay County. Chisholm Trail Fire Rescue was dispatched August 2, 2014, to a single vehicle rollover accident on SH-130. The vehicle involved was an SUV with 12 occupants – three were trapped, several and been ejected, and two were deceased. The scene involved over a dozen emergency vehicles and multiple air transport helicopters. Chisholm Trail Fire Rescue split up in teams and worked to provide scene safety, triage victims, extricate victims, assist EMS, and coordinate air transport. Click here to view Chisholm Trail Fire Rescue’s story.
On September 18, 2014, Johnson City Fire Department was dispatched to a call of an elderly woman trapped in a car. Her car had been pushed off the road and was being pushed down a raging creek. With two flooded low water crossings on either side, Fire and EMS Rescue could not reach her. So, members of the Johnson City Fire Department returned to the station to get the army surplus, 6-wheel drive truck, weighing 35,000 pounds, to try and cross the creek to rescue her. Firefighters were then able to traverse the low water crossing and get close to the victim. However, her power windows had now stopped working. As a team, firefighters were able to pull her to safety using a lifeline through her sunroof. Click here to view Johnson City Fire Department’s story.
Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer
On September 14, 2014, Officers Ricardo Medrano and Traver Stefan responded to the call of Rollingwood Police Officer Odom, who was trapped in the water on Bee Caves Road. While other officers were there, none had any equipment to help Officer Odom out of the water. Officers Medrano and Stefan alternate using their throwing ropes and, eventually, Officer Odom was able to grab one. The Austin Peace Officers pulled the exhausted and hypothermic Odom to safety out of the water. Click here to view Ricardo Medrano and Traver Stefan’s story.
Sergeant Ross Brown served in the United States Army from 1963 until his retirement in 1987 at the rank of Sergeant First Class. He served in the Republic of Vietnam and was awarded numerous awards for his service, including a Silver Star, a Purple Heart, the Air Medal, and more. He began his law enforcement career in 1994 after graduating from the Capitol Area of Government police Academy. Brown served with the Williamson County Precinct 2 Constable’s Office, where he was promoted to Sergeant, until 2011. In January 2013, he joined the Granger Police Department. Sergeant Brown is now a reserve police officer who volunteers with the Granger Police. He is dedicated to serving and protecting the citizens of Granger. Click here to view Ross Brown’s story.
Lieutenant Gena Curtis has dedicated years to help, serve, nurture, and comfort other officers and their families in the hardest of times. She is currently the chair of an Austin Police Association internal organization called Cops for Charity. Gena is one who, no matter what the situation, has a smile on her face and brings warmth and compassion to the toughest of times. If Cops for Charity is unable to assist, she searches for other avenues to help. Lt. Curtis has touched many lives throughout her career. Click here to view Gena Curtis’ story.
Since 2010, the DPS Fitness Wellness Unit has established and increasingly developed a highly successful physical fitness and readiness testing program for DPS through application of a science/evidence based methodology for objective fitness testing. The five member unit has successfully attended and completed all training in several programs and collected over 25,000 fitness data points with zero injury rate. The unit established a 12-tier complex and comprehensive physical fitness assessment protocol for every incoming recruit school that enables the unit the opportunity to design a tailored regimen to enhance individual fitness levels. Click here to view the DPS Fitness Wellness Unit’s story.
Scholarships awarded to:
- Michael Anderson, Travis County ESD #2
- Clint Bookout, Texas Department of Public Safety
- Penny Dunn, San Marcos Police Department
- Jason Smith, Pflugerville Police Department
- Tory Thompson, Travis County ESD #2
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!
Special thanks must go to our sponsors, without whom the event would not have been possible.
Austin Automobile Dealers Association
MH Crockett, Jr.
Roger Beasley Mazda
Thamm & O’Briant & Dayna Blazey
Austin Police Association
Law Offices of Jamie Balagia, PC
Luci Baines Johnson & Ian Turpin
Miller Uniforms & Emblems
Tami Baker, REALTOR® – Riverstone Real Estate
Cedar Park Police Association
Constable Robert Chody
Anne Haikola, Emerald Haven Realty
Exploring – Boy Scouts of America
Integrated Computer Management
Judge Kevin Madison/ Firefighter/ EMT
Lorie & Rick DuPont
Luther King Capital Management
Mass Mutual Southwest
Southwest Strategies Group