Tyler Fire Department honors firefighters for acts of heroism

Randy Lee, deputy fire marshal, says most firefighters are extremely humble about the work they do.
The Tyler Fire Department held their annual banquet and awards event, in which firefighters were recognized for helping save lives while on duty.
Published: May. 14, 2023 at 11:37 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Tyler Fire Department held their annual banquet and awards event, in which firefighters were recognized for helping save lives while on duty.

Randy Lee is the deputy fire marshal for the Tyler Fire Department, and he said most firefighters are extremely humble about the work they do.

“You know, most firefighters don’t want any limelight. They don’t want any recognition. They actually don’t want these awards, so you have to make them take it, more or less. They feel like it’s just part of their calling, and part of their duty is to do what they do, put their life on the line and to save lives, that’s what firefighters do,” said Lee.

The banquet began with the national anthem, prayers and dinner, then continued with a night of awards.

“Anytime we can recognize them, I think it’s a good thing as far as administration and as far as the city, in seeing these guys go above and beyond and exceptional. I think it’s good for their families as well to know that their husbands and their farthers are doing a good job and doing amazing stuff out there saving lives,” Lee said.

He said it’s good for families and friends to see the firefighters recognized for their hard work while on duty.

Recognition included the Lifesaving Award, Civilian Lifesaving Award, Teamwork Award and Firefighter of the Year.

Seven firefighters were honored with a Lifesaving Award for their quick thinking when a man on a lawn mower fell upside down into a pond. Honorees included engineer John Rains, firefighters Jason Wright, Chad Baker, Daniel Bailey, Josh Chambless, Jamie Smith and Cutter Leipply, who all received awards for the actions they took during this incident.

Jaryd Bedford is captain of the Tyler Fire Department, and he received a Teamwork Award.

“It’s flattering, certainly flattering. Obviously everyone here, all the firefighters, were able to help people, serve the community, but it’s certainly flattering to be recognized for our hard work,” said Bedford.

Door prizes and gifts were raffled off to select firefighters, who received valuables such as a 70 inch TV, hats, souvenirs and a chance to rent out a BMW.

The following individuals were honored:

  • Legends Awards:
    • Richard “Scott” Rabe
    • Les Schminkey
  • Lifesaving Awards:
    • Engineer John Rains
    • Firefighter Jason Wright
    • Firefighter Chad Baker
    • Captain Daniel Bailey
    • Firefighter Josh Chambless
    • Firefighter Jamie Smith
    • Firefighter Cutter Leipply
    • Captain Aaron Smith
    • Engineer James Branch
    • Firefighter Nate Mizell
    • Firefighter Robert Pena
    • Captain Aaron Medders
    • Engineer J.D. Stroud
    • Firefighter Lathan Pilcher
    • Firefighter Tate Lester
  • Civilian Lifesaving Award:
    • Shannon Sparks (UT Health ETX EMS – Dispatcher)
  • Teamwork Awards:
    • Engineer Will McElroy
    • Firefighter Brian McCawley
    • Firefighter Jordan Richardson
    • Sr. Captain Jeff Barnett
    • Engineer John Brown
    • Firefighter Darl Whiteaker
    • Captain Jarrod Bedford
    • Engineer Scott Dodgen
    • Firefighter Robbie Roberson
    • Firefighter Russell Jowell
    • Captain Josh Brannen
    • Engineer Adam Dixon
    • Firefighter Nathan Ledkins
    • Firefighter Daniel Partain
  • Distinguished Service:
    • Engineer Thomas Gortmaker
    • Firefighter Bryce Driver
    • Sr. Captain Kelly Adkinson
    • Firefighter Madison Fox
    • Sr. Captain Dusty Goodwin
    • Firefighter Cory Savallo
    • Captain Scott Lowery
  • Customer Service:
    • Engineer Tye Griffin
    • Firefighter Stuart Thompson
    • Firefighter Robert Pena
  • Friends of the Department:
    • Cameron Williams
    • Brad Brookshire
  • Firefighter of the Year:
    • Sr. Captain Kelly Adkinson
Sr. Captain Kelly Adkinson was named Firefighter of the Year.
Sr. Captain Kelly Adkinson was named Firefighter of the Year.(City of Tyler)