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Rotary, agencies honor top employees

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The Fountain Hills Noon Rotary Club honored public safety employees March 18 with the presentation of outstanding employee awards to a member of each of the five regional public safety agencies. The department head of each of the agencies made the selection for the award. Maricopa County Sheriff ’s Capt. Joe Rodriquez selected Deputy Jason Porter as “Outstanding Deputy of the Year.” Rodriquez said Porter led a squad responsible for 117 arrests over the past year including drug related incidents, warrant arrests and the apprehension of those involved in organizational retail theft that included Fountain Hills stores. “They have put criminals on notice ‘we are coming after you,” Rodriquez said. Porter leads by example with his positive attitude coming in everyday ready to go to work, Rodriquez said. Rodriquez thanked the Rotary for its efforts in honoring public safety personnel. “Our jobs are getting tougher,” Rodriquez said. “It is events like this that remind us it is all worthwhile.” Fort McDowell Fire Department Chief Mark Openshaw selected six year veteran Mark Watson as Fort McDowell Firefighter of the Year.

“(Watson) has done an outstanding job as a professional, compassionate paramedic,” Openshaw said. He said Watson has taken the lead in the department’s social media communication with the community and education programs. “He is preparing himself for leadership in the organization,” Openshaw said. Fountain Hills Fire Department Capt. Steve Boyer was selected by Chief Randy Roberts as Fountain Hills Firefighter of the Year. Roberts said Boyer is a 27-year fire service veteran with 13 working in Fountain Hills. He was co-creator of the CARE crisis response team, and oversees the department’s PAD program (Public Access Defibrillator) with 36 AED units in Fountain Hills. Boyer also oversees the CPR/AED training center in Fountain Hills, and has assisted in preparing the department for insurance (ISO) rating inspections.

Rio Verde Fire District Chief Gary Bradbury selected Firefighter/Paramedic Kerrie Nolan Proctor as Firefighter of the Year. Bradbury said Proctor is always ready to accept new challenges as she has with the district’s data management system and keeping the website up to date. She is the CPR program manager and follows up 911 responses with a customer survey.

Fort McDowell Police Officer Dallas Begay was recognized by Chief Jesse Delmar as Officer of the Year. Delmar said Begay is active with two essential programs for the department, traffic safety and wellness. The traffic program includes DUI and drug enforcement, and Begay is the primary support for maintaining equipment certifications used in the traffic program. The wellness program is a follow up for those who have had trouble with the law and helps them turn their lives around. Delmar also expressed his appreciation to the Rotary Club. “Many of these employees have the opportunity to interact on a regular basis,” Delmar said. “It is in that spirit of working together that this recognition embraces.”

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