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Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Honors First Responders & Three Stars of Tennessee Recipients

Thursday, September 11, 2014 | 05:48am

NASHVILLE--- The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security today hosted its annual First Responders Award ceremony to honor those who have dedicated their lives for the safety and security of all Tennesseans and to recognize the recipients of the inaugural “Three Stars of Tennessee Award.”  The event, which is part of National Preparedness Month activities, was held at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville.

State Senator Becky Duncan Massey (R-Knoxville) and Representative Ryan Haynes (R-Knoxville) spearheaded legislation to recognize law enforcement, firefighters and medical first responders who were either killed or suffered a career ending injury in the line of duty. The law (TCA 4-1-501) to allow for the “Three Stars of Tennessee Award” passed during this year’s legislative session.

“We come together today to recognize the men and women who risked and gave their lives as public safety professionals in Tennessee,” Deputy Commissioner Larry Godwin said. “Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. We are grateful for their service and honor their memories today.”

Twelve individuals were honored with the “Three Stars of Tennessee Award.” All but one of the recipients was killed in the line of duty. 

The First Responder Awards ceremony has been held every September since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Twenty-nine first responders were also recognized for their service to Tennessee. Each of the honorees were nominated by their peers and represents the 11 Homeland Security districts in Tennessee, as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“Our first responders put their lives on the line every day with no questions asked. It is my privilege to publically recognize their commitment to public safety and honor the daily sacrifices made to keep all Tennesseans safe,” David Purkey said, who serves as assistant commissioner and Homeland Security advisor. Purkey also serves as deputy commissioner for the Department of Military overseeing the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA).

National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort encouraging Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies.  Critical to the preparedness process are the men and women who serve our state and citizens as first responders. 

The “Three Stars of Tennessee Award” honorees and their bios accompany this release, as well as a list of those individuals who received First Responders awards.

Photos are available upon request.

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s (www.TN.Gov/safety) mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.


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