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Salisbury Rotarians honor law enforcement, EMS, fire personnel

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Each year, the Salisbury Rotary recognizes people in the public safety sector for their work in the community. At Tuesday’s club meeting, 10 officers and first responders were honored by their respective department heads.

Salisbury Police Department

• Officer Joseph Martinez, Rookie Officer of the Year

Martinez has been an officer with the department for four years and was nominated by his fellow officers because of his work ethic, dedication and teamwork, said Police Chief Jerry Stokes.

“He has accomplished a lot in these few years. He’s a K-9 handler, and if you watch or attend City Council  meetings, you have heard his name a number of times in comments from council members and citizens who note the great things he’s doing for the community,” Stokes said.

• Sgt. Brandon Casper, Veteran Officer of the Year

Casper is an 11-year veteran with the Salisbury Police Department. He answers calls and takes reports to help keep his officers on the streets and patrol, Stokes said.

“He is very understanding, compassionate and dedicated to the job. He is a quick thinker and always has an answer to his team’s questions. He is a leader who goes above and beyond the call of duty on a daily basis,” he said.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office

• Deputy Kyle Youngo, Rookie Officer of the Year

Youngo is a 2011 graduate of Carson High School who completed an internship with the sheriff’s office in 2013 and graduated with his basic law enforcement certification from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College in 2014. The Sheriff’s Office hired Youngo as a patrol officer in December 2014.

“He is a very proactive officer who continues to develop his law enforcement abilities,” said Sheriff Kevin Auten.

Auten said Youngo is assigned to the southern part of the county and has developed a good working knowledge of the area and its residents.

“He seeks out and attends training to help him become the best officer he can,” he said.

Youngo was recently named employee of the month and has proven himself to be a quality officer and an asset to the Sheriff’s Office, Auten said.

Auten cited a number of times when Youngo helped make arrests in 2016 — 82 drug arrests, 99 cases cleared, 162 case reports and 195 warrants served. This year, Youngo has helped serve 89 warrants, handled 52 case reports and made 42 drug arrests.

• First Lt. Chad Moose, Veteran Officer of the Year

Moose was hired by the Sheriff’s Office in 1992 and has served as bailiff, patrol officer, criminal investigator and drug investigator. He is currently in charge of the criminal investigations unit and is an active member of the Special Response Team.

He serves as an active board member of the East Rowan YMCA and is active with the Youth Football League, Relay for Life and Special Olympics. Moose has also participated in department fundraisers for co-workers and children in need.

“Since he was assigned as a supervisor within the criminal investigations division with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office in 2007, his division has investigated 39 homicide cases. Of those cases, his unit has cleared 38 homicide cases and has one murder case pending approval,” Auten said.

Auten said one of the most known cases the criminal investigations division handled is the Erica Parsons case that began as a missing person’s case in July 2013.

“Not only did 1st Lt. Moose work tirelessly to find and bring Erica home, he was also awarded possession of Erica’s remains and coordinated her funeral and burial,” Auten said.

He added that although this one case does not define his career as a law enforcement officer, “it does define the passion and devotion that it takes one to perform at the top level.”

N.C. Highway Patrol

• Trooper Shane Herrin, Rookie Officer of the Year

First Sgt. Stephen Pace described an incident in October 2016 in which Herrin assisted a man who had been shot multiple times while in Rockwell. Herrin pulled out his first aid bag and began assessing the man’s wounds. The man kept asking if he was going to die. Herrin and the Rowan sheriff’s deputies on the scene assured the man he would be OK. The trooper packed a bleeding leg wound and dressed it. He was able to apply pressure until EMS arrive.

Pace knew about the incident only after an email was forwarded to him from a deputy medical director with Forsyth Emergency Services. The director said EMS responders told him they believed the trooper’s actions helped save the man’s life.

Herrin has been a trooper since 2014 in Rowan County. Herrin was unable to attend Tuesday’s awards program.

• Trooper Travis Sloop, Veteran Officer of the Year

During 2016, Sloop led the district in several categories.

“He is a dedicated trooper and works hard each and every day. His work ethic is to be commended. He … makes our roads safer on a daily basis,” Pace said.

During 2016, Sloop made 48 arrests for driving while impaired; had 3,773 charges, of which 170 were restraint violations, 189 reckless driving charges and 2,307 total speeding violations; and investigated 149 collisions.

Sloop is an East Rowan High School and Appalachian State University graduate. He spent time in Iredell County as a trooper before moving to Rowan County. He has been a trooper since 2011 and is a field training officer.

Rowan Emergency Services

• Todd Holderfield, Rookie Paramedic of the Year

Holderfield joined the South Salisbury Fire Department in 2009 and shortly thereafter obtained his EMT certification. He also began working at LifeStar Ambulance Service in Forsyth County.

In 2013, while working as an EMT with Forsyth County EMS, he realized he wanted to become a paramedic, said Emergency Services Director Frank Thomason. He was unable to attend the typical paramedic courses offered after becoming a newlywed and father. Holderfield joined a hybrid paramedic program at Davidson County Community College. He worked a full-time job, maintained his new family life and successfully became certified as a paramedic in 2014.

He recently received his associate degree in emergency medical science from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.  Holderfield was unable to attend the awards program.

• Daniel Robinson, Veteran Paramedic of the Year

Robinson began his public service at the early age of 16 when he joined the Woodleaf Fire Department in 2000. Shortly thereafter, he enrolled in an EMT basic class and knew then that EMS was what he wanted for his career, Thomason said.

Robinson successfully completed EMT class but had to wait a couple of months until he turned 18 in order to be issued his state certification.

After graduating from high school, he was hired by Rowan County in January 2004 as a part-time EMT and within six months was able to move into a full-time position on the EMS Division’s prime-time transport unit. While in paramedic training, he transferred to a 24-hour emergency ambulance and in May 2005 obtained his paramedic credential.

In 2005, the Rotary presented him with the Rookie of the Year award. In 2007, he was promoted to lieutenant with additional duties including assisting in the training of new personnel, development of training plans for the department and other county agencies, and assisting with the department’s information technology.

In 2012, Robinson was appointed to coordinate the Medical Responder & Franchised Agency programs, ing which he takes a lot of personal pride, Thomason said. In April, he was promoted to shift captain and continues as a field paramedic and is also an assistant to the shift commander and oversees the procurement of medical supplies.

Salisbury Fire Department

• Corey Barnes, Rookie Firefighter of the Year

A fellow firefighter wrote that Barnes would come to work with a positive attitude ready to work, “learning really quick how we do things in Salisbury. He has great pride and loyalty.”

The fellow firefighter said even after a long day, in the evenings he would see Barnes waxing the firetruck or cleaning tools.

The firefighter noted a time when he didn’t feel as if he’d done his best while responding to a structure fire and was down. Barnes encouraged the firefighter, who wrote that it meant a lot to him because Barnes didn’t have to do it.

Barnes began with the Fire Department in 2014 and is trained as a EMT and firefighter as well as in technical rescue. He was nominated by his peers.

“He excels in every challenge presented to him,” said Fire Chief Bob Parnell.

• Cory Orbison, Veteran Firefighter of the Year

Orbison, who was also named the Joe Jenkins Captain of the Year, is a 14-year veteran. He started with the city Fire Department in September 2003. He was promoted to captain in 2007. Orbison started with South Salisbury in 1988. He retired earlier this year as chief of South Salisbury Fire Department.

Orbison is a trained firefighter, EMT, Fire Officer II, hazmat technician, general instructor, driver operator, and technical rescuer.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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