BRADENTON, FL – Congressman Vern Buchanan has announced the winners of the eighth annual 16th Congressional District Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Awards. Buchanan established the awards to give special recognition to local fire and rescue and EMS personnel who have provided distinguished service to his constituents.
“We owe so much to our police, firefighters, and EMS,” Buchanan said. “Our community is made safer and more prosperous because we have first responders watching our backs. When called upon, they often arrive at scenes of danger and trauma, to which they reliably bring strength and composure. These brave men and women spend hundreds of hours in training so that they are prepared when they get ‘the call.’ These stellar individuals exemplify what it means to serve a community.”
Buchanan presented awards to the following winners, who were selected this year by an independent committee comprised of a cross-section of current and retired fire and rescue personnel living in the district.
The following 15 awards were presented to recipients during a special ceremony in Manatee County:
• The Manatee County Department of Public Safety’s Ambulance Strike Team 601 received the Unit Citation Award. Ambulance Strike Team-601 is comprised of Mark Regis, Richard Johnson, Erwin Evelyne, William Cheek, Nick Horvath, Beth Harmount, Earl Kulpa, Dominick Reale, and Justin Woods.
• Captain Thomas ‘Mike’ Bloski of Southern Manatee Fire District received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
• Don O’Leary, a retired East Manatee Fire Rescue Commissioner, received the Career Service Award.
• Lieutenant Ryan Anusbigian of Hillsborough County Fire Rescue received the Dedication and Professionalism Award.
• Deputy Tyler Ackerman, Deputy Timothy Collins and Deputy Brian Hart of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received the Preservation of Life – Associate Service Award.