Local Government City of Cullman honors police, firefighters and CHS Theatre | The Cullman Tribune

Local Government

City of Cullman honors police, firefighters and CHS Theatre

Members of Cullman Fire Rescue were among those honored at Monday night’s Cullman City Council meeting. / W.C. Mann

CULLMAN - At its regular meeting Monday evening, the Cullman City Council had honors to spare as it recognized the achievements of two police officers, multiple firefighters, and the Cullman High School Theatre Department.

Cullman Police Department

Councilman and Public Safety Committee Chairman Andy Page, on behalf of the council, presented officer Bill Pagan his 10-year service pin, noting that he is one of the department’s school resource officers.

Assistant Chief Craig Montgomery said, “He plays such an important role in our community.  If you read the papers and listen these days, with the opioid epidemic, he is such an integral part in getting information out to the young folks in the community.

Page and Montgomery then presented Police Chief Kenny Culpepper a unique award, a 40-year service pin that had to be custom made, since the department’s usual insignia supplier had no such pin available.

“I knew the chief probably for 10 years before he hired me, and I’ve been here 25 years,” said Montgomery.  “We were in the National Guard together; so we have parachuted together, we have swam together, we have rappelled together.  And I’m here to tell you that I have never met a more humble leader.  He believes in giving credit to the men and women of our department.”

Council President Pro Tem Jenny Folsom told the chief, “The city of Cullman owes you a gratitude that there are no words to describe.”

(Look for a separate article on Chief Culpepper.)

Cullman Fire Rescue

Page and the leadership of Cullman Fire Rescue recognized Jimmy Wade Miller as the recipient of the VFW’s Gold Medal Award as Outstanding Firefighter of the Year.  Miller is a Marine Corps veteran and holder of numerous decorations, including the Marine Corps Achievement Ribbon, Combat Action Ribbon for service in Iraq, and Purple Heart.

With CFR, he is a firefighter and advanced EMT whose certifications include Alabama Smoke Diver, Apparatus Operator, Fire Instructor I, Hazardous Materials Operations, Rapid Intervention Team and Rope Rescue.  In addition to his duties with the fire department, he also serves as a tactical medic with the Cullman Police Department SWAT team.

His commendation noted that he “has been a dedicated and excellent firefighter.  He excels during emergency situations, and often responds off duty and for special assignments.”

Brandon Wayne Dawson was recognized for winning the VFW’s Gold Medal Award as Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) of the year.  His certifications with CFR include Firefighter I and II, Apparatus Operator, Emergency Vehicle Driver, Hazardous Materials Technician, Fire Instructor I, Rope I Technician and Rapid Intervention Team.

His commendation noted, “He has not only shown support for the ongoing improvement of Cullman Fire Rescue’s EMS division, he has also steadily mentored other firefighter/EMTs, helping them to improve their knowledge of emergency medical care . . . Brandon excels during emergency situations, and continues to strive for excellence through advanced training and certifications.”

The council and CFR leadership also commended members of Engine Co. 1 for their rescue, in a joint operation with Cullman EMS, of three residents trapped in a house by a fallen tree.  Certificates were presented to Cpt. Walt Reichwein, Lt. Gary Mikus, Lt. Tim Martin, Lt. Jason Lamb, Eng. Jon Tucker, Eng. Tyler Parker, Eng. Chris Edwards and Firefighter Paul Gadihle.

Mikus and Edwards, along with Firefighter of the Year Wade Miller were additionally commended for their efforts during a mutual aid call to rescue two victims trapped in a fully-involved house fire.  The crew from Engine 1 entered the burning structure initially without hoses or a water supply, then with support from the Johnson’s Crossing and Berlin departments, locating both victims and delivered them to Cullman EMS.

Cullman High School Theatre Department

The council presented a resolution to CHS Theatre Director Wayne Cook, accompanied by CHS Choral Director Sarah Jane Skinner, to the school’s theatre department, recognizing the team’s recent “Best in Show” award for their one act presentation of “Scrooge” at the State Walter Trumbauer Secondary Theatre Festival at the University of North Alabama.  The award is the highest honor a theatre group can receive in the state.

The resolution also commended several students who received individual awards at the festival:

  • Justin Weygand - Best Actor in a One-Act; first place, Male Musical Theatre; Superior Medal
  • Rutland Turner - Alabama All-Star Cast, two Superior Medals
  • Graffin Shaddrix - second place, Male Dramatic Monologue, Superior Medal
  • Jady Pipes - Alabama All-Star Cast
  • Laci New - two Superior Medals
  • Olivia Noblett - Superior Medal
  • Mary Claire Page - Superior Medal
  • Kayla Watts - Superior Medal
  • Alyssa Sandlin - Superior Medal
  • Tiffany Dotson - Superior Medal
  • Abby West - Superior Medal

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  • Councilman and Public Safety Committee Chairman Andy Page presents Police Chief Kenny Culpepper with a one-of-a-kind 40-year service pin.
  • CHS Theatre students