Members of the American Legion Towson Post 22 this week honored four local first responders for their service to the county at the post's annual First Responder of the Year Awards.
The honors, given at the annual Commander's Christmas Party at the Towson post on Sunday, Dec. 9, highlighted the efforts of first responders whose efforts have made the Towson area a safer place in 2012.
Officer Juan Amador of the Towson Precinct was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his help in apprehending a man wanted in a shooting in Towson. In late February, Amador arrested Bradford Holup, the man who later admitted to shooting West Towson resident George Stover in the neck during a burglary.
Additionally, according to Towson Post 22 Cmdr. Jim Rebbert, Amador also had a statistically impressive year. He was nominated by his superiors for netting seven DUI arrests in September — more than some officers make in a year, Rebbert said.
Rebbert said the honorees' respective station and precinct commanders chose all of those who were honored.
Paramedic Brian Hollenbach was named Career EMS of the Year. Hollenbach, who is stationed at the Brooklandville Station, was awarded for his leadership on the job, Rebbert said.
Michael Murphy, of the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company, was named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year.
It was another award for Murphy, who was awarded the Bronze Star by the Baltimore County Fire Department in March for his role in helping to rescue a fellow volunteer firefighter with the Providence VFC during the January 2011 fire at Charles Village Pub in Towson. The firefighter became disoriented and passed out in the fire, and Murphy brought the man to safety.
In addition, Capt. Scott Russell earned the Career Firefighter of the Year, both for his work in the Fire Department and his service to the U.S. Air Force.
Rebbert said Russell is a "very well decorated" major in the Air Force Reserves, who has served more than four years in multiple deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he cared for and evacuated critically injured troops on the ground. Russell has also been a participant in the American Legion Boys State program, in which rising high school seniors spend a week learning about government.
Also at Sunday's celebration, Rebbert said, a representative from the St. Vincent Center, a special needs facility in Timonium, attended to receive a donation of more than $3,000 in cash and gifts for the facility's resident children.
Those attending the legion post's annual celebration were encouraged to bring toys or a donation for St. Vincent's, and Rebbert said that in addition to the holiday toys, four flat screen televisions and several DVD players were donated to the center.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun