Photo by Jon Anderson
The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce honored the city’s public safety workers of the year at the chamber’s Feb. 16 luncheon. On the back row, from left, are Mayor Frank Brocato, fire Chief Chuck Wingate, Firefighter of the Year Austin Smith, Paramedic of the Year, Robert Smith, Firefighters of the Year Tony Conville and Dan Fulmer, Paramedic of the Year Geoff Moore, Firefighter of the Year Lt. Chris Fulmer and police Chief Nick Derzis. On the front row, from left, are Police Officer of the Year finalist Detective Daniel Lowe, Police Officer of the Year Lakendrick Edwards, Police Officer of the Year finalist Sgt. Rocky Renno, Corrections Officer of the Year Cpl. Maria Robinson and Telecommunicator of the Year Brittany Hayes.
Giving birth is a task, but imagine doing so in a moving vehicle on roads covered in snow and ice. Then think about it doing it twice.
That’s exactly what Suzanne Jones had to do when a winter storm hit Hoover in early January as she was expecting twins.
But thanks to the work of three Hoover paramedics, she was able to deliver both babies safely, even though the second boy was born breech.
Paramedics Robert Smith and Geoff Moore attended to Jones in the back of their rescue vehicle while paramedic Justin McKenzie slowly navigated the safest route he could find from Bluff Park to a hospital under difficult road conditions on the morning of Jan. 7.
For their outstanding service and skill, Smith, Moore and McKenzie were honored at the Feb. 16 Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon as the 2016 Paramedics of the Years for the Hoover Fire Department.
They were among 12 Hoover public safety workers recognized for outstanding work in the past year.
Smith, Moore and McKenzie took Jones and her husband, Greg, to Shelby Medical Center in Alabaster because routes to closer emergency rooms were not as safe that day, Hoover Fire Executive Officer Rusty Lowe told the chamber crowd.
Baby Noah was born not too long into the trip, and his brother, Ethan, came 18 minutes later in Pelham, Lowe said. Mother and babies were stable upon arrival at the hospital, and the paramedics survived, too, Lowe joked.
Other public safety workers honored were:
Firefighters of the Year Lt. Chris Fulmer, Tony Conville, Dan Jackson and Austin Smith, for rescuing three adults, two of them elderly, from a fire at Waterford Townhomes on Nov. 1.
Telecommunicator of the Year Brittany Hayes, for helping apprehend a rape and robbery suspect in September by empathetically obtaining information about the incident during a phone call from a woman who spoke very little English. Hayes obtained most of the information by talking to the woman’s 8-year-old son, who served as a translator. The suspect was linked to two other robberies in the same area.
Corrections Officer of the Year Cpl. Maria Robinson, for intercepting four bags of a contraband substance inside a bottle of body wash dropped off for an inmate in August and for showing good leadership skills.
Police Officer of the Year Lakendrick Edwards, for helping capture a November gas station robbery suspect by linking the robbery to a harassment report at another store hours earlier, and for catching a burglary suspect on Oct. 25.
Police Officer of the Year finalists Detective Daniel Lowe, for making extra efforts to help a woman who was being prostituted by her ex-boyfriend get off drugs, and Sgt. Rocky Renno, for capturing a suspect who fled the scene of an accident on Interstate 65 that killed one person and severely injured two others in August.