- TONY BRISCOE
- DECEMBER 3, 2013
Detroit — When firefighter Ronald Mitchell arrived at a burning house on the city’s west side and learned someone was still inside, he barreled into thick black smoke to rescue the 81-year-old man unresponsive inside.
If it wasn’t for Mitchell’s actions, the victim might not have survived, according to the Fire Department.
Police officer Tyrone Gray was off duty when he heard “Help her! They are killing her!” He found two large pit bulls attacking a 63-year-old woman on the east side and fired shots, striking one dog, to end the attack.
The woman’s wounds could have been fatal if Gray had not taken action, police said.
Mitchell and Gray were two of the members of the Detroit police and fire departments to receive the Medal of Valor, a recognition of their bravery in the line of duty at the Above & Beyond Ceremony Tuesday night.
“It’s mostly just a part of the job and trying to do it well,” Mitchell said. “I try to pass on what I’ve learned.”
A crowd of more than 600 people, including first responders, guests and members of the business community heard master of ceremonies Ed Gordon detail some of the most courageous acts of the past year. Gordon, a Detroit native, is host of the nationally syndicated radio program “Weekend with Ed Gordon.” The event was hosted by the Detroit Public Safety Foundation at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. The Obama administration’s point person in Detroit, Don Graves, provided thanks to first responders from President Barack Obama.
All in a day’s work, said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
“These feats of excellence are routine for the men and women who don the uniform of the Detroit Police Department,” Craig said.
Craig told the audience that earlier in the day about 200 law enforcement officers conducted a raid on Martin Luther King Apartments, a haven for violent crime and drugs, arresting 42 people on felony and misdemeanor crimes. The operation was called “Super Six” in honor of fallen officer John Anderson.
“Rest assured, there will be a party coming to a neighborhood near you … and maybe a few after-parties,” Craig said in reference to residents celebrating a safer community as a result of the raid and others recently on Jefferson.
The Police Department recently reported a drop in violent crime in the city. Police have seen slayings plummet, with one homicide in the past 10 days, according to Sgt. Michael Woody.
Fire Commissioner Donald Austin, who announced his resignation Tuesday morning, commended the dedication of firefighters and EMS personnel. He said after his last day Dec. 31, he will continue to be involved in the transition of the new department head.
“Once you’re on the team — team Detroit — you’re always on the team,” Austin said. “And I look at this … as me running my leg of a relay race, and it’s time for me to pass the baton off, but it’s also time for me to stand on the sideline to cheer on my teammates.”
Other Medal of Valor recipients included police officers Kevin Chubb, Nathan Cover, Alexander Roths, Mark Stevelinck, Anthony Jackson, James McDonald, Ali Jabar, David Sanders, DeRon Dotson, Lamar Penn, Aref Algarrafi, Robert Sanchez, Johanna Todd, Stephen Townsend, Luis Caban, Fitzgerald Harris, Aaron Colwell, Matthew Bolden, Ryan Paul, Vitaliy Borshch, Johnny Fox, Aaron Haley, Stephen Perez, William Johnson, DeJuan Pugh, Terrence Washington, John Pinchum, Malcolm Jones, Donald Coleman, Kristopher White, LaVanita Burke, Timothy Simons, Barney Williams, Tremayne Brooks, Deitrich Spidell, Emnia Biogradlija, Jason Murdock, David Ball and Jay Allor; and police Sgts. Kurt Worboys, Mark Campau and Barbara Profit; police Lt. Dale Greenleaf; EMT Ricky Edler; and firefighters John Simpson and Thomas Shirk.
Saul Green, former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, along with the district’s incumbent U.S. attorney, Barbara McQuade, received the Integrity and Ethics Award. Dan Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, received the City Change Maker Award for his public safety efforts, which included helping to restore lighting downtown and BCBS’ $1 million contribution for new public safety vehicles.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131203/METRO01/312030123#ixzz2mcmbkC7r