• First Responders Honored for Bravery, Composure Under Duress & Thinking Outside the Box

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    May 04, 2018
    Greater Springfield Chamber Honors Heroes at Valor Awards Breakfast

    A Sheriff’s Office team who saved a suicidal and combative inmate, a police officer just let loose from his training officer who used every bit of training to non-lethally subdue a man high on bath salts and a team of Fire and Rescue personnel who rescued a man holding down an aggressive 100-pound Rottweiler were honored this morning by the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce at its Valor Awards Breakfast.

    The event recognizes first responders in the Greater Springfield area who exhibit courage and clear thinking in potentially life-threatening situations.

    More than 60 businessmen and businesswomen, first responders and elected officials attended the breakfast at the Springfield Golf and Country Club. Among those in attendance to personally honor the first responders were Fairfax County Supervisors Pat Herrity and Jeff McKay, Fairfax County Sheriff Stacey Kincaid and Fairfax County Police Lt. Gregory R. Fried, assistant commander of the Franconia District Station.

    The award recipients are:

    •    Second Lieutenant Georgi Hovhannisyan, Sergeant Brandon Pitts, Private First Class Andrew Foxwell and nurse Debbie Kurylo of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office, who kept alive and controlled an inmate who had slashed his neck in a suicide attempt and violently fought all efforts to save him, until he could be sedated and transferred to emergency care.
    •    Fairfax County Police Officer Isa Martin, who arrived early for his morning shift at the Franconia District Station when a car crashed into the gate and a man jumped out and slid through the gate into the secure yard, yelling, “Help me, help me, they are after me.” Martin, in civilian attire, alone in a dark parking lot, without a radio, armed with only his off-duty weapon, managed to subdue the man. Only when the situation turned violent with both men on the ground and the subject grabbing for his gun, did Martin consider using lethal force. Thankfully, at that moment, Officer First Class Lindsey Memenza exited the station, recognized Martin from a brief encounter, and resolved the situation, including informing officers who were arriving at the station that the plain-clothed man with the gun was a sworn officer. Martin and Memenza were both honored.
    •    Captain Gerald Morrison, Technician Rachel Wicker, EMS Technician William Harrington, Technician Patrick Ralph, Firefighter Scott Halisky and Firefighter Rosemary Dawley, representing Springfield’s Engine Company 422 and Pohick’s Medic 435 of the Fairfax County Fire & Rescue Department, were honored for bravery and ingenuity for rescuing a man who was attempting to keep an attacking Rottweiler from escaping and killing him and his mother. With animal control unavailable and the man tiring quickly, the team devised a plan to gain control of the animal and sedate it. Using firepower was not an option due to the man being on top of the animal and potential ricochets.

    Kathleen McDermott, chair of the Greater Springfield Chamber Board of Directors, presented plaques and certificates to the honorees.

    The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership-based organization supporting businesses in the Greater Springfield, Virginia area. Founded in 1957, the Chamber formulates and advocates positions critical to business, keeps members apprised of current community issues and provides numerous networking and education opportunities. For more information about the Chamber visit springfieldchamber.org.
    Nancy-jo Manney, President | CEO
    (703) 866-3500

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  • Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
     6434 Brandon Avenue
    Springfield, Virginia 22150

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