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Keesler Federal Credit Union recognizes first responders in Ocean Springs

South Mississippi first responders were honored Wednesday during Keesler Federal Credit Union’s 7th annual First Responder of the Year ceremony.
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 9:37 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - South Mississippi first responders were honored Wednesday during Keesler Federal Credit Union’s 7th annual First Responder of the Year ceremony.

The ceremony took place inside the Ocean Springs Fire Department.

“We can’t do everything we would like to do for them, but this small token of appreciation lets them know that we’re always thinking about them,” Gary Fulton with Keesler Federal said.

Fulton presented awards to both the Fire Department and the Police Station.

“First responders, a lot of their accomplishments sometimes go, you know, unrecognized,” said Fulton. “And we want to bring it to the community and let them know how much we appreciate and how much they’re doing to protect us, you know, 24 hours a day.”

The Police Department honoree was John Rhodes, who’s assigned to the Downtown Entertainment District. Female firefighter Samantha Guthrie was also awarded.

“You know, there’s not a whole lot of us (women) in the fire service,” she said. “So, it’s good when things like this do come up, you know. And it shows that we are out there, you know, and that it is possible. You don’t have to just be a male to excel in his career.”

Guthrie is a mother to three daughters who were also present.

“I like to show them that just cause they’re girls, you know, it doesn’t matter, you know, you can do whatever you want to do. And they see that. They recognize that,” she said.

Last year, more than 80 first responders were honored.

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