The heroes of Gulfport and Harrison County law enforcement got pats on the back Thursday from the Gulfport Rotary Club. The club presented police officers, firefighters, EMT workers and explorers its annual public safety awards.
Seven people and one volunteer fire unit received plaques and cash for the work they did last year protecting people in South Mississippi.
The Gulfport Police Officer of the Year went to Raymond Brooks. He's been with the force for three years. The last two years, he's mentored 2,000 students as a school reserve officer.
The Gulfport Firefighter of the Year went to Brian Rowe and Ryan Carter. They worked together during last year's anhydrous ammonia leak to save a trapped Gulfport police officer.
The Gulfport Police Explorer of the Year was Danielle Beck. She's a captain with the city's explorer post.
The Harrison County Deputy of the Year was Mechelle Carbine. Deputy Carbine was at the Crystal Inn last December, when a shootout injured a fellow officer. Carbine secured the scene, then treated the injured deputy until medical technicians arrived. She was credited with saving the deputy's life.
The Harrison County Firefighter of the Year was the Saucier Volunteer Fire Prevention unit. Members of this group visit K-6 students, and teach them about the dangers of fire.
The Harrison County Explorer of the Year was Jack Moore. He's been part of the explorer group since 2000. Someday he'd like to be a Harrison County deputy.