Our heroes

Red Cross to honor local winners at annual breakfast

The Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross will honor 11 individuals for their service to the community and to others during a special breakfast on Thursday, March 25. The 8th Annual Red Cross Heroes Breakfast, in addition to offering the opportunity to salute local heroes, is the Red Cross’s largest fundraiser and allows the community an opportunity to support the Red Cross as it responds to disasters and emergencies in Blount County.

In addition to the award winners announced today, the Betty Proffitt Hale Community Impact Award will be presented during the breakfast.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. on March 25 at Maryville First United Methodist Church. Seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call 865-983-0821.

The Blount County American Red Cross Heroes for 2010 are:

Youth Good Samaritan Award

Luis Gonzalez - Presented by Clayton Homes

Luis Gonzalez is a sophomore at William Blount High School. Recently elected as the youth representative to the local Red Cross Board of Directors, he is active in numerous community and school activities, including working with Red Cross disaster relief teams and amateur local radio groups that activate in times of local emergencies. Most recently, he has been trained and certified to be a CPR and First Aid Instructor, with plans to help provide safety training to both English and Spanish-speaking audiences.

For his commitment to community and giving back at such a young age, Luis Gonzalez is a Blount County Hero.

Law Enforcement Award

Officer Brett Hall, Maryville Police Department

When Maryville police officer P.J. Lindahl was critically injured in a traffic accident on April 19, 2009, Maryville police officer Brett Hall took the lead in coordinating her friends, colleagues, and neighbors to help.

Officer Hall was a part of a committee to support Officer Lindahl. Others who helped were her colleagues and friends at the Maryville Police Department, The Rush, Air National Guard and the corporate office of Ruby Tuesday. In order to help officer Lindahl with rising medical costs, the group decided to host a benefit run in downtown Maryville. They also sold T-shirts and received general donations. Together they raised approximately $15,000.

Because of his dedication to supporting his coworker and friend, officer Brett Hall is a Blount County Law Enforcement Hero.

Community Service Award

Robin McDaniel presented by American Red Cross

Robin McDaniel serves her community by giving cooking lessons to young men at Crossroads. Crossroads is a facility affiliated with the Blount County Children’s Home which provides homeless young men a place to stay while getting on their feet and learning to become independent.

Well-known for her cooking expertise because of her food column in Blount Today, McDaniel was approached by a Crossroads board member and asked to teach cooking skills and basic nutrition. Since the fall 2009, McDaniel has been doing just that. McDaniel has also taught the young men basic table etiquette and how to set a table.

When McDaniel learned that the young men did not have plans on Thanksgiving, she asked friends and family to help her prepare a meal for them. She felt that waking up to the smell of turkey is a comforting and wonderful element of Thanksgiving, and a good memory she wanted the young men to have.

Because of her dedication to sharing her skills and passion for cooking with the young men at Crossroads, Robin McDaniel is a Blount County Community Impact Hero.

Military Award

Lance Corporal Trevor Hartsell presented by First Tennessee Bank

Lance Corporal Trevor Hartsell is on active duty in the Marine Corps in the infantry section. While on a routine security patrol in Afghanistan, Hartsell’s humvee was hit by a radio-controlled improvised explosive device. He was driving, but he kept his cool and escaped out of the vehicle with the other Marines. Soon after they had all escaped, the humvee burst into flames. Despite the loss of the humvee, the Marines had to continue their assignment of clearing the town of Taliban. They did this successfully and without further incident.

Because of his dedication to protecting America, Trevor Hartsell is a Blount County Military Hero.

Emergency Personnel Award

Kathy Shields, Blount County Emergency Management presented by Rural-Metro

Kathy Shields has lived in Blount County for about 30 years and has worked for the Blount Emergency Management Agency since 2008. She has written numerous grants, and the office has received more than $3 million dollars in grant money, often from the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. These funds are used to provide Blount County first responders with proper training and equipment.

It is for her dedication to improving public safety and emergency response that Kathy Shields is a Blount County Hero.

Animal Rescue Award

Mike Caylor presented by Denso

In January 2010, Maryville Firefighter Mike Caylor responded to a house fire with a team of firefighters. While firefighters were in the house, the distraught homeowner explained to Caylor that there were newly-born puppies in her house. Caylor alerted the firefighters, and soon they emerged from the house with six puppies in their arms. Five of the puppies were alive and moving, but one was quiet and still. Not giving up on the quiet puppy, Caylor put a tube of oxygen near the puppy’s mouth. After about five minutes, the puppy started crying and breathing again.

Because of Caylor’s dedication to saving the lives of others, including those with four legs, he is a Blount County Animal Rescue Hero.

Firefighter Award

Jason Stinnett, Blount County Fire Department and Daniel Fipps, Maryville Fire Department presented by Alcoa, Inc.

On January 28, 2009, Blount County firefighter Jason Stinnett worked with Maryville firefighter Daniel Fipps to save a man from a house fire. Stinnett was working with the Blount County Fire Department when he was told that a man and possibly a woman were inside the burning house. Fipps, although off-duty, heard about the situation and offered his assistance. Stinnett and Fipps communicated with the dispatcher and used a thermal imaging camera to locate people inside the home. They found a man and brought him to safety, and then continued searching for the woman until they were notified that she was no longer in the house.

Because they worked together to save a life, Jason Stinnett and Daniel Fipps are Blount County Firefighter Heroes.

Adult Good Samaritan Award

David Shelton presented by Marriott Business Services

On January 30, David Shelton was on his way home from work when he crossed the bridge between Knox County and Blount County on Pellissippi Parkway. It was there that he noticed a thin layer of frost on the road. Suddenly a car in front of him fishtailed, turned sideways in front of his car, and David could not avoid hitting it. He pulled into the emergency lane and talked with the driver of the other car, 19-year-old Ashley Reisser and her friends.

David was calling 911 when he heard the girls screaming and witnessed a car lose control and slam into Ashley. He ran over to help her and realized she was stuck under the car that had hit her. Suddenly another car lost control and hit David. Despite receiving serious blows to his back and knee, he continued moving toward Ashley to keep the driver from moving his car and further harming her.

By risking his own life to save another, David Shelton is a 2010 Blount County Hero.

Medical Award

Robert Redwine presented by Blount Memorial Hospital

Robert Redwine has served Blount County by being an active member of the Blount Memorial Hospital Board of Directors for 24 years. He has been president of the Board for 16 years. When Redwine was asked to be a board member in 1987, he was skeptical that he would be much help. But over the years, Redwine has learned much about healthcare - its changes, challenges, and solutions. He has enjoyed getting to know the people of the hospital: administration, physicians, and, his personal favorites, the dedicated volunteers.

He and the rest of the Board meet once a month for a long day of committee meetings, tours, educational programs, and a formal board meeting. Board members get along well and work together in approving budgets, measuring progress, reviewing benefits for employees, and creating new programs.

It is because of his dedication to improving the community’s hospital that Robert Redwine is a Blount County Medical Hero.

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