City of Alcoa Fire Chief Roger Robinson was recently honored by Tennessee Deputy Gov. Claude Ramsey and Safety and Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons and several other state officials for his service as an emergency first responder from Homeland Security District 2. Robinson was one of 26 individuals from across the state recognized at the First Responder Awards Ceremony, held at the State Capitol in Nashville.
The event held each year since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, sets aside a day to honor first responders and to celebrate those who have dedicated their lives for the safety and security of all Tennesseans. It is held in conjunction with National Preparedness Month. Honorees received a certificate and recognition for their accomplishments from the Governor.
Honorees were nominated by their peers and represent each of the 11 Office of Homeland Security districts across the state, as well as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA), Tennessee Citizens Corps., and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Robinson’s nomination came from his extraordinary vision leading to the development of a Fire House for firefighter training and emergency management preparation. On a limited budget yet recognizing the need for firefighters to have a location that provides realistic training opportunities, Chief Robinson secured steel freight boxes for little to no cost, arranged for a city employee to craft the containers into a multi-story structure, managed to secure funding to provide gas ignition systems and offered to help train other area agencies once the facility was constructed. The structure is located in an area fit for practice and training, and was even utilized in a recent Emergency Management scenario. Chief Robinson’s willingness to share the facility and offer his staff to assist smaller departments is a testament to his professionalism, dedication, determination and vision.
“These law enforcement officers and emergency response personnel put their lives on the line during times of crisis and are not afraid to run into dangerous situations to protect others. We are grateful for their service to our state and for everything they do to protect our citizens,” Ramsey said.
“As we look back and remember the events of September 11, 2001, we can’t help but think about the first responders who lost their lives on that tragic day. The brave individuals we honor today in Tennessee take those same risks and we should not take their service for granted,” Gibbons said.
The First Responders Awards Ceremony was sponsored by InfraGard, an organization of private-sector volunteers who work together with public agencies to help protect our national infrastructure.