Valdosta Mayor John Gayle, Fire Chief Freddie Broome and Police Chief Brian Childress honored VPD DARE Officer Stephen Findlay, VFD Lt. Dwight Primrose and VFD Sgt. Keith Niehanke as the March 2016 Employees of the Month at the March 10 City Council meeting. Lt. Primrose, Sgt. Niehanke and Officer Findlay each received a framed certificate and a check for $200, and their names appear on a plaque displayed in City Hall.
Lt. Primrose is responsible for managing the daily operations at the company level, overseeing two to three employees, responding during emergency incidents and upholding the City and Fire Department’s mission, vision and core values.
Sgt. Niehanke is responsible for maintaining the fire trucks to a level of readiness, safely operating the fire truck on emergency incident, and assuming the Company Officer role in the absence of a Fire Lieutenant.
Officer Findlay is responsible for responding to dispatched calls for service, maintaining a working knowledge of local laws, presenting oral testimony in court, and conducting preliminary inquiries and criminal investigations. He also teaches drug abuse resistance education to 5th and 7th grade students at all city schools.
During the 2015 holiday season, these city public servants came together to do a good deed for a citizen.
Valdosta Fire Engine 4 responded to reports of a vehicle leaking gas in the movie theater parking lot. Once the owner of the vehicle arrived, he was very distraught when Lt. Primrose told him that the vehicle would have to be towed.
The wrecker arrived and the driver informed the citizen it would cost $140 to tow the vehicle to Stockton. The citizen became very upset and stated he could not afford the bill. Lt. Primrose told the citizen that he would cover the bill for him as a gift. Overcome by emotions, the citizen insisted that it was not necessary. After a lengthy discussion, he agreed to accept the gift. While they were talking, Sgt. Niehanke and Officer Findlay also offered up money for the cause. The wrecker driver reduced the bill to $75 upon witnessing the generosity of these public safety personnel.
The City of Valdosta applauds Lt. Primrose, Sgt. Niehanke and Officer Findlay for being named the March 2016 Employees of the Month, an award they received for demonstrating how the Fire and Police Department personnel go above and beyond to serve, protect and care for citizens in our community.