First Responder Dinner: 9/11 anniversary a time to say thank you

Sue Guinn Legg • Sep 10, 2019 at 11:32 PM

A large round of appreciation for the men and women who dedicate their careers to the service of their community were in order Tuesday at the annual First Responders Dinner at Carver Recreation Center.

The 911 anniversary event included words of gratitude from the mayors of Johnson City and Washington County for the everyday heroics of area police, fire, emergency medical response and 911 dispatch professionals and special recognitions of the exemplary service of seven of the public servants selected by their department commanders.

About three dozen men and women in uniform and their families attended the dinner that Carver Recreation Center Director Herb Greenlee began several years ago as a way to honor “the people who protect and take care of us.”

“We thank our honorees and all our first responders for what you do,” Greenlee said.

Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy told them “You are our heroes,” while Johnson City Mayor Jenny Brock offered them a “thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.”

Special honors went to:

• Johnson City Fire Lt. Chason Freeman for his high energy, positive attitude, dedication to his job and inspiration to his fellow officers;

• Jonesborough Police Sgt. Dennis Higgins for his servant’s spirit, mentoring  fellow officers and the example he sets for others;

• Washington County Sheriff’s Department counselor and mental health care provider Cindy Thomas for her service to more than 650 inmates and officers exposed to daily trauma inherent to their jobs;

• Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Medical Services St. Mike Miller for rising to the top and giving 100 percent every day;

• Johnson City Fire Department Driver/Engineer Brandon Jordan for his departmental leadership;

• Johnson City Police Officer Adam Miller for his safe driving initiative, teen mentorship and skills as a crisis response negotiator; and

• Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Dunn for his youth mentoring for good sportsmanship and good citizenship and the role model he sets both on and off the field.

The Washington County 911 Emergency Communications District and Washington County/Johnson City Emergency Management Agency also received special recognition.