IN PHOTO (From Left): Asst. Fire Chief Brian Boutwell, Michelle Mercer, Sgt. Robert Mercer, Firefighter Lloyd Cummings, Lt. Ronald Shoemake, Mayor John Gayle and Fire Chief Freddie Broome. Sgt. Mercer, FF Cummings and Lt. Shoemake were honored as the May 2016 Employees of the Month at the May 5 City Council meeting.
Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Valdosta Fire Chief Freddie Broome honored VFD Lt. Ronald Shoemake, Sgt. Robert Mercer and Firefighter Lloyd Cummings as the May 2016 Employees of the Month at the May 5 City Council meeting. The VFD employees each received a framed certificate and a check for $200, and their names appear on a plaque displayed in City Hall.
Each—with his critical and unique responsibilities—works as a vital member of an efficient life-saving team. Lt. Shoemake is responsible for managing the daily operations at the company level, overseeing two to three employees, and supervising emergency incidents. Sgt. Mercer is responsible for operating the fire service apparatus and managing engine companies in the absence of the Lieutenant. FF Cummings is responsible for responding to emergency incidents and providing fire, rescue, medical, Haz-mat and special rescue services.
In January 2016, Lt. Shoemake, Sgt. Mercer and FF Cummings responded to a call at the Lowndes High School gymnasium during a sporting event. When they arrived, they found Emergency Medical Services (EMS) working on a patient who had suffered cardiac arrest. The three public safety personnel immediately began assisting EMS with the school’s Automated External Defibrillator, and their work significantly helped to save the patient’s life. Onlookers remarked that throughout the high-pressure situation, Lt. Shoemake, Sgt. Mercer and FF Cummings exhibited stunning professionalism and incredible teamwork, which are traits of the “VFD Way.”
The City of Valdosta applauds Lt. Shoemake, Sgt. Mercer and FF Cummings for being named the May 2016 Employees of the Month, an award they received for successfully working to preserve and improve the lives of citizens in the community.