Gold Medal Awards
The Department of North Carolina has announced its three state-level winners of the 2011-2012 Public Servant Gold Medal Awards. They are Franklin Lee Westbrook of Fayetteville for the Emergency Medical Technician Gold Medal, Jeffrey G. Hill of Hope Mills for the Firefighter Gold Medal, and Melissa Kiefer of Charlotte for the Law Enforcement Officer Gold Medal. Westbrook and Hill were sponsored by Hope Mills Post 10630, and Kiefer was sponsored by Monroe Post 5464.
The Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) award is presented to any individual, who actively gives emergency medical treatment, provides rescue service of civil disaster assistance as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to give emergency medical care, and/or provide rescue and civil disaster assistance to our nation’s citizens. Westbrook is a member of the Cumberland County EMS System of Cape Fear Valley Health. No stranger to awards, he was the champion of the 2010 Journal of Emergency Medical Services national paramedic competition. He and his team helped to place Cumberland County EMS in elite company by defeating teams from major metropolitan areas such as New York City and Miami Dade. Having served continuously in Cumberland County since 1998, Westbrook teaches specialty certification classes for the American Heart Association, has participated in the tactical medical program with law enforcement, and currently trains and responds with the North Carolina Urban Search and Rescue Team. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force.
The Firefighter award is given to any individual who actively fights fires as a member of any public or volunteer company organized to fight fires and give assistance to our nation’s citizens. Jeffrey Hill joined the Hope Mills Fire Department in 2007 after attending Emergency Medical Technician school, obtaining his state EMT certification, serving as a volunteer firefighter, and obtaining his state firefighter certification. He is currently the primary Driver/Engineer on his work shift. His many accomplishments include certifications as an Hazardous Materials Responder, an Emergency Vehicle
Driver, a Pumper Operator, an Aerials Operator, a Rescue Technician, and Fire Service Instructor. He also has ribbons for many of those accomplishments.
The Law Enforcement Officer award is presented to any individual who serves in municipal, county, state or federal unit tasked with enforcement of the laws pertaining to their area of responsibility. It does not apply to individuals employed by private companies or security services.
Melissa Kiefer is an officer, soon to be promoted to Sergeant, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. She began her law enforcement career in 2004 as a patrol officer, and then advanced to directed patrol units, community coordination, civil emergency unit work, and administration. She has certifications in RADAR, crime scenes, bicycle patrols, high risk warrant, segway patrol, crisis intervention, child maltreatment investigations, standardized field sobriety testing, and field force operations. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.