Over 60 Local Heroes Honored for Valor at Chamber’s 37th Annual Public Safety Awards; 37 Recognized for Discovery Hostage Incident

Date: 
March 11, 2011

Bethesda, Md. – Over 1,200 business leaders, elected officials and members of the public safety community gathered today to honor 60 men and women for extraordinary acts of valor at the 37th Annual Montgomery County Public Safety Awards Luncheon.

The event, hosted by the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC), allowed the business community to honor and thank the first responders and organizations who protect the communities in which they live and work.  Emceed by NBC News correspondent Tom Costello and NBC4 TV morning anchor Eun Yang, the event highlighted extraordinary acts of valor and community service demonstrated by public safety officials within Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services, Department of Police, Sheriff’s Office, Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, and Maryland-National Capital Park Police.

Sixty individuals were honored with valor awards for responding to a variety of incidents around the county and beyond.  “From fire rescues and the passenger bus accident on 270 – to saving a life during a flight to Florida – our local heroes have enabled better outcomes with bravery and good judgment,” said long-time event chair Steven A. Robins, a principal with the Bethesda-based law firm of Lerch, Early and Brewer.   “Our business leaders, our elected officials and so many in our community enjoyed this great opportunity to thank this extraordinary group of public servants.” 

Among those honored were 37 heroes who responded to the September 1 suicide bomber hostage situation at Discovery Communications in downtown Silver Spring. Receiving the event’s highest honor, the Gold Medal of Valor, was Edward E. Paden, Jr., one of the first officers to respond to the situation and enter the building to keep an eye on the suspect, as well as 14 members of the Police Department and Sheriff’s office who bravely entered the lobby area to resolve the situation. The Gold Medal of Valor, not awarded every year, is reserved for acts of bravery involving extreme personal risk that is clearly above and beyond the call of duty.  Discovery Communications produced a tribute video to help tell the story of the rescue and honor the bravery of these heroes.  

The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, public safety leadership from the various County agencies, and representatives from the business community selected valor award winners for acts of bravery and service above and beyond the call of duty.  “We understand thevital role our public safety community plays all year in the success of our community and businesses,” said Gigi Godwin, President and CEO of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. “Today, the business community had the opportunity to honor and thank the men and women who keep our community safe.”  

New this year, the event honored organizations on which the public safety community relies for support and innovation.  The R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, the nation’s first and only integrated trauma center, was named the Public Safety Government Partner of the Year, an award sponsored by Motorola, for its extraordinary life-saving work and for saving countless lives of public safety officers injured in the line of duty.  MorphoTrak received the inaugural Public Safety Corporate Vital Link award, sponsored by TD Bank, for providing law enforcement with biometric technologies that more quickly identify suspects.

For a complete list of award winners and descriptions of their acts of heroism, please visit the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce web site at: www.montgomerycountychamber.com.

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