Officer Andrew Hammett of the Irving Police Department received the prestigious First Responders Children's Foundation Hero Award at the National First Responders Day Event held in Times Square on October 24, 2023. The award ceremony, organized by the First Responders Children's Foundation, honored heroes from various first responder categories for their exceptional acts of courage and service.
Officer Hammett's heroic action took place on May 7, 2023, when he responded to an accident call in conjunction with other Irving officers and Irving Fire personnel. A vehicle had crashed into the Lake Carolyn waterway, ending up submerged upside down. Without hesitation, Officer Hammett jumped into the water to rescue the victim from her vehicle, enabling immediate CPR to be administered.
Jillian Crane, the President and CEO of the First Responders Children's Foundation, expressed her gratitude, saying, "Officer Hammett, please accept this First Responders Children's Foundation Hero Award on behalf of all law enforcement officers in America."
The First Responders Children's Foundation, a nonprofit organization, was established after the events of September 11, 2001, to support the children of first responders who lost their lives. Each year, the foundation recognizes acts of heroism by paramedics, firefighters, and police officers.
Roll Call of Heroes included:
Firefighter Sam Fehrer who joined the Indianapolis Fire Department’s Station 11 and recently responded to a harrowing structure fire. Amidst the flames and chaos, Sam charged into the burning building and rescued a 10-month-old child from the perilous blaze.
Police Officer Andrew Hamett of Texas’ Irving Police Department who responded to a call reporting an upside down, submerged vehicle which had driven through a metal railing and down into a canal. Officer Hammett immediately dove into the water and was able to locate the victim inside the vehicle.
911 Dispatcher Keara Duncomb of the Moore City Police Department in Oklahoma who found herself in a critical moment when she received the call that ultimately saved a life. With calm and unwavering professionalism, she guided a distraught 10-year-old child on what to do after his grandmother had fallen and hit her head, resulting in severe blood loss.
Paramedic Lieutenant Miguel Flores is a decorated 24-year veteran of the FDNY where he began his career responding to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Lieutenant Flores is also a member of the Executive Board for the FDNY’s Hispanic Society and is extremely active in the FDNY’s community affairs efforts teaching fire safety to children. This work has saved countless lives. On the morning of January 9, 2022, a high-rise fire killed seventeen people, including eight children in the Bronx. Several of the surviving children taught by Lieutenant Flores lived in the building. Many became heroes in their own right, recalling the safety lessons taught by Lieutenant Flores and guiding their families out to safety.
Correction Officer Rachelle Jones, a 15-year veteran of the New York City Department of Correction, recently helped rescue a motorist who had flipped their car. On her way home from work, Officer Jones observed the wreckage, and immediately pulled over and got the driver out of the vehicle to safety. By happenstance and moments later, Officers Raishamraj Persaud and John Wisti came across the accident while driving a Department of Correction bus. The officers quickly stopped to assist and utilized the DOC bus to block off traffic and proceeded to help at the scene until the New York City Fire Department arrived.
FRCF’s Hero Award was presented to: Metro Nashville Police Department: Officers Michael Collazo, Jeffrey Mathes, Ryan Cagle, and Zachary Plese who displayed exceptional valor and resilience, confronting unimaginable circumstances to safeguard the lives of our community’s most vulnerable. In their moments of decision, they chose to be vessels of bravery, beacons of hope, pillars of strength, and sources of comfort during a time filled with chaos and despair.
FRCF’s Community Hero Award: Lieutenant Julieann Stapleton, New York City Police Department