Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Announces 2021 Congressional Fire and Rescue/EMS Award Winners

Nov 15, 2021
Press Release
50 Area First Responders Recognized for Distinguished Service

BRADENTON, Fla. – Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced the winners of the 16th Congressional District Fire and Rescue and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Awards.  Buchanan established the awards to give special recognition to fire and rescue and EMS personnel who have provided distinguished service to his constituents back in 2010. 

“As first responders, fire departments and emergency medical service teams are summoned on short notice to serve their communities,” said Buchanan. “Oftentimes, they arrive at scenes of great adversity and trauma, to which they reliably bring strength and composure. These brave men and women spend hundreds of hours in training so that they are prepared when they get `the call.’ I believe these awards are a fitting tribute to our first responders and a reminder of the important role they play in our communities.” 

This year’s award recipients were selected by an independent committee comprised of a cross section of current and retired fire and rescue personnel living in the district.

Buchanan presented awards to the following outstanding fire and rescue and EMS personnel:

Dedication and Professionalism Award:

Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue Lieutenant Kimberlee Rogers and Deputy Chief Jason Dougherty

Manatee Search Nicholas Reis

Manatee County EMS Social Worker Sonia Shuhart

Career Service Award:

Parrish Fire District Division Chief Michael Williamson

Preservation of Life Award

Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue Captain John Shirah and Driver Engineer Peter Dziubinski

Sarasota County Fire Department Lieutenant Randy Allen and Fire Medics Miriam Troyer, Andrew Moler and Michael Alberti

Associate Service Award:

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Terri Adams; Corporals William Barnes and Carlos Brito; Deputies Keaton Bruce and Andrew Fleming; and Civilians Trexley and Bradley Cleophat

Unit Citation:

Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue

Chief Morris Lopez; Captains Derek Butler, Michael Bugg, Erik Sawyer, and Brian Visnovec; Acting Captains Charles Bridges and Adam Brown; Firefighters Travis Poirier and Edward Kofler; Fire Medics Colin Tracey, Gilad Maimoni, Brandon Gadberry, Adam Schwer, Violet Anderson, Juanita Benjamin, Brian Johnson, and Ryan VanBuskirk; Lieutenants Joseph Blackwelder and Joshua Veeck; Driver Engineers Ralph Mascaro, Derek Wendt, Ayron Burden, Jerome Mancillas, Jeffrey Hartzner, Patrick Geiger; and Acting Driver Engineers Marc Dieth, Joshua Thompson, and Ryan Fritz; and Manatee Search and Rescue Deputy Chief John Elwood and K9 Karma, and Captain Michael Dvorak and K9 Max