Congratulations To Officer Reed And Firefighter Henson

Friday, September 13, 2013

Congratulations to Police Officer J.R. Reed on being selected by the East Ridge Optimist Club as Police Officer of the Year.   I have met him a couple of times but don’t really know Officer Reed, but many, many citizens do and this is one city employee that I have never heard even one single negative comment made when his name is mentioned.  I have only heard favorable, positive comments about Office Reed from citizens, other city employees and his neighbors. 

The article about this award stated that Officer Reed was recently assigned to a position of “acting sergeant/assistant supervisor” on evening shift, due recent retirement of a sergeant.  With Officer of the Year award, 22 years of service, praise by citizens and fellow employees, and an outstanding letter of recommendation by Deputy Chief Mize for the award, surely the “temporary” will be made “permanent” quickly.   The article I read only referred to Mr. Reed as officer, I believe his current rank is corporal and hopefully we will see sergeant stripes on his uniform soon. 

Officers of his caliber with his dedication, credentials, experience, praise and respect are what it takes to make an effective, professional, respected and productive police department.  Thank you, Officer of the Year J.R.  Reed, and all East Ridge Police officers for your service to the city and citizens.

Congratulations also to Lt. Kent Henson, selected by the East Ridge Optimist Club as Fire Fighter of the Year.  I was very happy to see his name in the article.  Several years ago I had to call 911 with a medical call for my husband.   East Ridge firefighters respond to all medical calls and this is one citizen that is thankful and very supportive of that policy.  East Ridge arrived before the ambulance and they were professional, capable and skilled in their job performance. 

I remember clearly Kent Henson being one of those firefighters.  Shortly after they arrived so did an ambulance and at that point the paramedic on the ambulance was in charge.  By the end of the night, I would have preferred that the ambulance had stayed away and East Ridge firefighter had handled the emergency.   The ambulance personnel, specifically the one in charge, was rude, unprofessional and in my observance not in control of the situation.   I would have addressed his actions then and there, if it had not been that my husband's life was in his hands. 

I was so appreciative that the East Ridge firefighter stayed on scene and even followed the ambulance to the hospital.  I waited a couple of days until my husband was out of danger, contacted the ambulance service supervisor and filed a complaint.  I also talked with East Ridge fire chief and during the review of my complaint the East Ridge firefighters supported my statements concerning the actions of the paramedic.  These gentlemen did not know me or my husband at the time, but the firefighters not only provided excellent care and true concern for my husband's medical issue, they stood up for the truth.   

Kent Henson is the firefighter that I remember the most clearly.  Thank you, Lt.  Henson and all East Ridge firefighters for your service to the city and citizens.  So thankful that you were there the night my family was in need.

Frances Pope
East Ridge


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