Knights of Columbus honor public safety agencies
Law enforcement officer, firefighters, EMS staff, and dispatchers received some well- deserved love during the 26th annual Knights of Columbus Patrick J. O’Brien Social, held Feb. 26 in the Knights of Columbus lodge in Summerville.
The Summerville Knights of Columbus Council 6629 hosts this special banquet and ceremony for police officers, deputies, firefighters, EMS, and dispatchers and their families and present plaques to the police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, sheriff’s deputies, and EMS personnel whom their chiefs, department heads, and peers select for outstanding service during the year.
Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 737 were on hand to help serve and assist the attendees.
Scott Flick, Past Grand Knight, who served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, welcomed everyone to the gathering and thanked the guests for the jobs they do.
“What we fail to realize, so often, is just how important your role is to our daily lives,” Flick noted. “Yet we are confident that the police officer, or firefighter, or EMT will be there to help out every time. We are here to honor you for your dedication and your sacrifice.”
Summerville Mayor Bill Collins also had high praise for the guests of honor.
“Let me say what a pleasure it is to be here tonight as your guest,” Collins said. “We are here tonight because we are honoring our police, firefighters, EMS, and dispatchers. I am grateful for everything they do. When they go out on a call, they don’t know what they might be facing. They are a big reason why Summerville and Dorchester County is such a special place.”
The Knights presented six plaques: Summerville Police Officer of the Year and Dispatcher of the Year, Summerville Firefighter of the Year, Old Fort Firefighter of the Year, Dorchester County Dispatcher of the Year, and EMS Worker of the Year.
Captain Jon Rogers of the Summerville Police Department announced Patrolman First Class Ken Driscoll as Officer of the Year and Jessica Wells as SPD Dispatcher of the Year. Rogers praised their contributions to the department and to the service, noting that both were chosen by their peers.
Summerville Fire Chief Richard Waring presented the SFD Firefighter of the Year award to Nick Geroulis.
“It is a real treat to announce that Nick is firefighter of the year,” Waring said. “HE goes above and beyond every time for everything.”
Dorchester County EMS Director Doug Warren presented EMS officer of the year to Matt Sellers.
“He came to work for us three years ago and has truly excelled,” Warren said. “He sets the example, every day, in patient care and in outreach to the community.”
Lt. Martin “Poncho” Villa of the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office presented four officer of the year awards and a dispatcher of the year award. Villa explained that the patrol division is made up of four patrol teams; the team commanders determined the criteria for the award and chose an officer of the year from each team. DCSO’s four recipients this year were Chris Brooks, Team 1; Rosaminda Morris, Team 2; Scott Mendenhall, Team 3; and Lewis Judy, Team 4.
Villa also announced Sarah McCallister as Dorchester County Dispatcher of the Year.
Old Fort Fire Department Ed Genthert noted that celebrating the achievements of those who work in emergency services is especially important to him.
“I’m extremely big on family, and your fellow comrades are part of your extended family,” Genthert said. “It’s very important that we celebrate these moments with our family.”
Genthert then announced that Wesley Carter was this year’s Knights of Columbus.
Grand Knight Michael Laurendi thanked the guests of honor again, stressing the importance of their service and vigilance to the community.
“I think that I speak for my brother knights when I say thank you for your courage and for all you do to make our community what it is,” he said.