The Hampton Roads Chamber business community gathered on Thursday, June 9th to honor men and women who serve our communities in public safety who have performed acts of exceptional merit, distinguished service, remarkable bravery, and uncommon valor.
The Hampton Roads Chamber invited every public safety enforcement administrator in Hampton Roads to nominate employees for recognition based on performance from March 20, 2021, through March 17, 2022. The nominations represent over thirty incidents that occurred during that period.
The first responders honored help us set the conditions for businesses to succeed by making our communities safer. We cannot thank them enough for what they do every day.
Legacy Lifesaving Award
Nightingale Regional Air Ambulance was presented with the Legacy Lifesaving Award. The Nightingale crew responds wherever needed in our market and transports patients to hospitals and medical centers when minutes mean the difference between life and death.
The Community Heroes Award
The Community Heroes award is awarded to the public safety official or team who goes above and beyond the call of duty to positively impact the community. This can involve outreach programs, youth programs, at-risk adult programs or any coordinated effort that helps improve the quality of life for residents.
The Community Heroes Award was presented to Captain Cathan Breen and Senior Paramedic Lyndee Tripp from the Virginia Beach Department of Emergency Medical Services. Captain Breen and Senior Paramedic Tripp were honored for their valiant efforts to provide COVID testing and immunizations. These two heroes were instrumental in the organization, training, credentialing, and supervising that led to the success of “Vaccinate Virginia Beach."
This is awarded to the public safety official or unit for their integrity in investigative work. This includes, but is not limited to, solving a cold case, clearing a difficult active case or the outstanding overall supervision of a particularly unusual case that was brought to a successful conclusion.
A Lifesaving Award was presented to Virginia Beach fire crew members Will Brenden McDaniel, Matthew McQuarrie, Justin Tabora, and Samuel Hutcheson. On August 15th, these heroes were called to a drowning at the Virginia Beach oceanfront and found a distressed swilling yelling for help.
A Lifesaving Award was presented to Chesapeake police officers Erin Cutbruth and Cole Robinson. On August 13, these heroes responded to a report of a person being shot multiple times. While at the scene, individuals violently tried to interfere with their lifesaving efforts.
The third Lifesaving Award was presented to Suffolk firefighter-medic Manuel Franco and Corey Stephens. On March 20, Suffolk Fire and Rescue crews were called to a car crash that involved a person pinned in the vehicle. They arrived on the scene to find the vehicle in the water and the victim fighting for life.
Investigative Merit Awards
This is awarded to the public safety official or unit for their integrity in investigative work. This includes, but is not limited to, solving a cold case, clearing a difficult active case or the outstanding overall supervision of a particularly unusual case that is brought to a successful conclusion.
An Investigative Merit Award was presented to Suffolk detective Madison Cabell. Detective Madison Cabell conducted a number of investigations into a rash of shootings that took place in the South Suffolk community in the summer and fall of 2021. These shootings impacted the community which included a park area where children often played. One investigation resulted in one-hundred spent shell casings being collected from a neighborhood street where a shootout between two groups took place.
Detective Cabell diligently worked to identify several persons of interest in each shooting incident, linked one person of interest to a gang, and requested assistance from the NET units, the ATF, and other agencies to bring the case to a close. As a result of her investigations, two convicted felons with gang affiliations were arrested, 11 firearms were seized, and evidence related to narcotics distribution was also discovered. All criminal charges are still currently pending in the courts.
Detective Cabell’s perseverance and determination are evidenced by her commitment to ensuring that these dangerous people were taken off the streets, resulting in a safer Suffolk.
Video is unavailable due to the open case
An Investigative Merit Award was also presented to Virginia Beach Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit. Since March 20, 2021, the Traffic Safety Unit has investigated 29 fatality crashes and 32 with life-altering injuries. Every one of these 61 crashes is a closed investigation. The unit is comprised of Sergeant Rich Cheatham, Sergeant Jenn Johannesen, Sergeant David Price, Office Cheryl Bertram, Officer Edwin Cordero, Officer Christopher Daley, Officer John Dolida, Officer Christopher Jenkins, Officer Eriald Kera, Officer Rachel Nash, Officer Soloman Simmons, and Officer Nathaniel Worthing.
The Valor Award is in recognition of an act involving extreme personal risk which is clearly above and beyond the call of duty. This is awarded in situations when a public safety official/unit knowingly exposes himself/herself/themselves to great personal risk in the performance of an official act.
A Valor Award was presented to Portsmouth Police Sergeant Michael Blankenship and Officer Chris Darden. On October 4, Sergeant Blankenship and Officer Darden responded to a call of an armed suicidal person in the water near Effingham Street. To save this man, they put their own lives in danger.
A Valor Award was also presented to Suffolk Firefighter Robert Short. On July 13, firefighters were called to a fire in a downtown high-rise residential building. Firefighter Short tried to rescue a man inside the burning building. The victim fought him and removed Firefighter Short's breathing apparatus exposing him to dangerous gases and smoke.
Suffolk Police Officer Elizabeth May received a Valor Award for her actions on December 7th. Officer May responded to a fight-in-progress call at a motel. She had to tend to a victim while dealing with the armed suspect.
Video is unavailable due to the open case
Thank you so much to our sponsors for their support in making this event possible:
Presenting Series Sponsor: Chesapeake Regional Healthcare
Member Spotlight Sponsor: Verizon
Valor Awards Sponsors: Sentara Optima Health
Virginia Beach Awards Sponsor: Beach Municipal
Media Series Sponsor: WTKR NEWS 3
A/V Sponsor: ProductiveAV
Décor Sponsor: Premier Event
Table Sponsors: ADP, Bon Secours, Virginia Beach Convention Center