In October, we ran our “Hometown Heroes & First Responders” contest and asked our readers to nominate first-responders going above and beyond in the Huntsville Metro Area.
We received a total of 27 nominations. Out of the 27, we chose 13 to profile in this issue.
On November 19th a winner was selected via Google random generator to receive $500 in cash. The winner of the $500 cash prize is Trent Bennett of Huntsville Fire and Rescue Bureau of Fire Prevention. Congratulations Trent!
What follows are the nominating quotes for first responders going above and beyond.
The profiles represent first responders in the Huntsville Metro Area (Madison and Limestone Counties) who were nominated for going above and beyond in their role.
Thank you all for your service to our community.
1. Trent Bennett HOMETOWN HERO Winner
Huntsville Fire and rescue
Assistant Fire Marshall
“Trent has been a pillar in the Huntsville Community for many years. With Huntsville AL being voted as the “#1 Place to Live” in the US, Trent’s work is a huge part of that success and recognition. He conducts life safety inspections, fire investigations, plans review and public information officer duties. He has been a part of the awesome growth in Huntsville. He has completed building inspections at the majority of the ‘landmark’ establishments that make the Huntsville area the #1 place to live. He has inspected facilities such as Amazon, Mazda Toyota, Blue Origin and assisted on The Orion Amphitheater. He is also an instructor through the Alabama Fire College and Drone coordinator. Trent’s efforts supporting our community are unmatched. He is more than deserving of such a prestigious award.”
2. Adam Hall HOMETOWN HERO Nominee
Athens Limestone county 911
EMT, Paramedic, & 911 Call Dispatcher
“This person is a 911 Operator and they are often overlooked when recognizing first responders because they provide help and pre-arrival instructions to those needing assistance before help arrives. He is also a paramedic for Athens Limestone Hospital and a Volunteer Fire Fighter with Owens Volunteer Fire Dept. He is an instructor for many different courses needed by first responders as well. He manages to wear many hats as well as being a husband, father of two and a step-father of two. He is always willing to help and give his all to help those in need and teach those willing to learn.”
3. Jimmy “Peanut” Sharpe, Jr. HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
MOORES MILL FIRE & RESCUE
“Peanut has been serving his community from Huntsville to Hazel Green for more years than most can count. As he says best, he is a “permanent fixture” at Moores Mill VFR. Today he answers medical calls around the clock in his retirement and is always on scene when a fire or car accident occurrs. To paint a picture of how dedicated he is – we can get 10 calls between midnight and 9am. It’s almost guaranteed he has responded to as many or all of the calls. There also isn’t a HEMSI medic that doesn’t know Peanut. You can’t miss his Santa beard either. Outside of volunteering countless hours, running to-date several hundred calls this year, Peanut is a former long-time dispatcher at Huntsville-Madison County 911.”
4. Jerry King HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
HUNTSVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT
CAPTAIN, SOUTH PRECINCT COMMANDER
“Captain Jerry King serves as the Commander of the South Precinct. Captain King has been a servant leader of this community for 26.5 years. He started his career with HPD in 1996 after joining its ranger program as a teenager and being named Ranger of the Year. King spent his first 10 years with HPD working as a patrol officer. As a Sergeant, King served as a training supervisor at the Police Academy, was a patrol supervisor, supervisor over the homicide unit, and supervisor over narcotics. He was previously a Shift Commander as a Lieutenant for the South Precinct, Deputy Commander of the STAC (Strategic Counterdrug Team) Unit, and most recently Commander of the North Alabama HIDTA Drug Task Force. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, has an extensive background in helping dismantle drug trafficking organizations and seizing illegal drugs. Jerry King cares about his community and those in it. He consistently goes above and beyond in all he does for the people in this community.”
5. Stacey Shumate HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
ER CHARGE NURSE
“Stacey is an amazing Charge Nurse for the ER. She goes beyond the call of duty for her staff and the people that are seen at Huntsville Hospital. She never complains. “Stacey recently had a life-changing event when her husband was set on fire due to an accident at work. He is now recovering. Besides being a phenomenal wife and Charge Nurse, she is and always will be a great person.”
6. Dale Dowdy HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
madison fire department
FIRE INSPECTOR, INVESTIGATOR
“Dale works 24hr shifts. Then goes to work in the Inspection Office to ensure that all codes are met to keep businesses and patrons safe. He also tries to mentor new and upcoming firefighters. He works as a Paramedic at HEMSI also to provide care for those in need. He works all these long hours while also being a husband, dad and a caregiver at home for his father who has early dementia. He serves as the crew chief and truck driver for his son who races all over the southeast.
Dale puts his heart into all the positions he holds and puts everyone’s needs before his. He is a hero to his family and in their eyes he is a hero to the community he serves.”
7. Jeff Holland HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
huntsville fire and rescue
“My husband has been on the fire department since 1995 starting out as a firefighter. He worked and trained hard to become a driver in 2007. His last promotion was in 2018 when he became a captain. Each job came with more responsibilities but he has always worked hard to be the best at each title. I have seen him come home dragging tired from calls all night with no sleep. Yet still had a smile for his kids and family. He has always worked so hard to do exactly what was expected for the city. The past few years the pandemic came with so much uncertainty. Doing his best along with all his crews to help those who were so sick even though they were uncertain of the true risks they were taking. Firefighters risk their lives day in day out. It’s not just the fire scenes. It is also the wreck calls and the medical calls that sometimes bring unknown dangers. He has had countless close calls from drug exposure to guns or knives being on a scene. I must say the City Of Huntsville Fire Department Staff does a wonderful job keeping all of our firefighters safe! Along side the dispatchers, police, and Hemsi. Huntsville is definitely a blessed community. I could go on and on about sacrifices and dangers firefighters face but they clock back in every 48 hours. Sometimes they even do overtime. It’s because it takes a person with a special love and compassion to save property and lives even though they risk their own in doing so. After all the Bible even tells us in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” My husband makes me proud in every way each and everyday. Thankful that he is able to live out his dream job. Thankful the City Of Huntsville blessed him with a wonderful opportunity to serve our community.”
8. James Bohannon HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
redstone police department
“My husband has worked at Redstone PD since 2016 (been in law enforcement for 25+) working 12-hours shifts including nights, holidays, weekends, and many of our family birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events. He has been a dedicated public servant in the law enforcement community his entire life starting back in the early 1990s with his prior LE positions including the Gatlinburg and Sevierville, Tennessee Police Departments. He continues to serve with dignity and grace at a time when it is a such a controversial career path. He has never wavered from his commitment to help people and protect our community no matter where we live. I am proud to call him my husband and he is one of the most honest men you will ever meet. He is a dedicated family man too and has done a wonderful job helping me raise two wonderful children. We are celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this month (the 30th) and this would be an AMAZING anniversary gift to surprise him with! With all the negativity out there right now, I would love to showcase one of the good guys! Thank you for considering him as a candidate. P.S. He might be a little hesitant when he realizes he is nominated because he doesn’t think what he does is all that big of a deal, but I think it’s important we show him and all the nominees how much they make a difference in the world!”
9. Jared Terry HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
huntsville fire & rescue
“Jared is always going above and beyond to give back to his community. He is always going out of his way for others.”
10. Brandon Frazier HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
city of huntsville fire & rescue
“Brandon goes above and beyond to bring his best to work each day, support his crew and motivate others to be a better employee.”
11. Megan Terry HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
huntsville emergency medical services
EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECH
“She is a mother of a one year old little boy and the wife of a Huntsville Firefighter, but she always finds the time to give back to her community. She is strong and dedicated to the cause.”
12. Latasha Coleman HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
MADISON fire & rescue
FIREFIGHTER & PARAMEDIC
“Latasha is an amazing human being who is completely selfless and will do anything for anyone. Most notably, Latasha is the VERY FIRST Black Female Firefighter in Madison County, Alabama. She is strong and beautiful and inspires everyone around her. You will never see her without a smile on her face.”
13.Joshua Berry HOMETOWN HERO NOMINEE
huntsville fire & rescue
“Josh is not only a Firefighter, but also Hazmet and Heavy Rescue. Josh is a Huntsville fire photographer and also takes amazing photos of all things Huntsville. He is selfless and the best husband and father.”