Melbourne Public Safety Personnel Recognized During 7th Annual Valor Awards

Space Coast Daily

by Kathy Reaks

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Five Melbourne police officers jumped into the rough waters of the Indian River to save the lives of three adults and one child whose boat had capsized last year.

Another officer kept an armed suicidal man from hurting himself or his neighbors.

These are just a couple of examples of the heroism performed daily by first responders and the armed forces from across Brevard County.

To make sure their dedication and heroism doesn’t go unnoticed, the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida honors the best each year during their Annual Valor Awards.

Multiple awards are presented to personnel nominated by their respective Chiefs and Commanders for going above and beyond to save and protect the public, said Christian Malesic, president of the Chamber.

This year’s event was held last night, August 19th, at the Melbourne Hilton at Rialto Place.

“Currently across the country so many of our public servants are being undervalued and treated with disrespect,” said Malesic, the newly named president of the Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida.

“We wanted to show our first responders, and the public how much we appreciate them and the work they do for us everyday in Brevard County.”

Police Commander Dan Lynch said the Department is very proud of their employees and thankful to the Melbourne Chamber for honoring them: “These awards really show the public the type of service they should be expecting from our officers and fire fighters.”

Those honored with Valor Awards from the City of Melbourne Police and Fire Departments included:Officer Charlie Braden and Lt. Timothy Turner for keeping an armed, suicidal man from further hurting himself or his neighbors in July 2014.
  • Officer Chris Eisen, Officer Edward Ferguson, Sergeant Jennifer Hall, Officer Kevin Palmeri and Officer Jesus Lopes for working together in the water and onshore to save the lives of three adults and one child whose boat had capsized in rough waters in the Indian River in August 2014.
  • Officer Jonathan Hawk took extraordinary measures to save a suicidal man who was high on “molly” (a synthetic ecstasy-like drug) from further harming or killing himself in October 2014.
  • Officer William Gleason lifted an unstable vehicle to free a trapped and seriously inured driver after a rollover crash in October 2014. His actions enabled medical responders to begin treating the d river the moment they arrived. That same month, Officer Gleason jumped from a helicopter into Lake Poinsett to help rescue an exhausted fisherman and his dog from a sinking boat.
  • Officer Jesus Lopez used an AED device to administer a life-saving shock to a man that was not breathing in November 2014, when medical help arrived; the man had a heartbeat and was breathing on his own.
  • Firefighter/Paramedic Chris Flamm saved the life of a driver whose pick-up truck had been speared by a telephone pole following a crash in May 2015.

Flamm saw the rash happen and immediately jumped in to render life-saving aid to the victim, including checking him for injuries, activating a trauma alert, hold direct pressure on his wound and keeping him calm until additional emergency help arrived.

The 2015 Presenting Sponsors were Walmart and Vitas Innovative Hospice Care; the 2015 Trustee Silver Sponsors were AT&T, Berman, Hopkins, Wright & LaHam, CPAs & Associates, City of Melbourne, Regions Bank, Wesche Jewelers and Harris Corporation; the 2015 Corporate Table Sponsors included Wells Fargo and eBay Enterprises; and the 2015 Public Safety Sponsors inclded Buena Vida, BB&T and Artemis.