NASHVILLE— Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Chief of Staff Mark Cate and Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons were among several state officials to honor 24 individuals from across the state for their service as emergency first responders.
The First Responder Awards Ceremony, held at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) headquarters, celebrated those who have dedicated their lives for the safety and security of all Tennesseans. The special ceremony has been held each year since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. The event is also held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month.
“It has been more than a decade since the 9/11 attacks on the United States. However, we will always remember the public servants like you, who were willing to risk their lives and rescue as many people as possible. The lessons learned on that day have changed the way you all train for emergencies or disasters, for the better,” Cate said.
The 24 individuals recognized at Monday’s ceremony were nominated by their peers and represent each of the 11 Homeland Security districts in Tennessee, as well as the TBI, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Citizen Corps., and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. (The names and biographies of the honorees are attached separately.)
“This ceremony is an important reminder that we should recognize all of the men and women who put themselves in harm’s way for our safety. Tennessee’s law enforcement officers and first responders have selflessly put the lives of strangers before their own. The daily sacrifices they make to keep us safe are worthy of recognition,” Gibbons said.
The ceremony is one of the Office of Homeland Security’s National Preparedness Month activities. 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.