The Cobb Chamber honored Cobb County’s finest on Monday morning during the Chamber’s 19th annual Public Safety Appreciation Breakfast at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The event drew a record-breaking crowd and kicked off Public Safety Appreciation Week, a community-wide effort to say “thank you” to the men and women who work tirelessly to keep Cobb County safe. Vince Dooley, former head football coach at the University of Georgia, was the keynote speaker at the event.
Several awards, including the Public Safety Employee of the Year, were presented by Erin Coleman, news anchor for Channel 2 Action News. Nominations were received from public safety agencies throughout Cobb County; including police, fire, sheriff’s office, campus police, EMS and Georgia National Guard.
“We are fortunate to have some of the best public safety professionals that are woven throughout our communities. They are all heroes as they focus daily through their unconditional service. Many walk into harm’s way daily knowing the risk is great. Through the Cobb Chamber’s Public Safety Appreciation Week, we are able to show how much we appreciate their daily efforts in helping to keep our communities a safe place to live, work and play!” says Chief Bill Westenberger, the 2013 Public Safety Committee Chairman.
2013 Public Safety Employee of the Year
The Public Safety Employee of the Year Award recognizes outstanding public safety personnel from every public safety agency in Cobb County. EMT-Intermediate Kim Burnette has served MetroAtlanta Ambulance for four years. She is described as “an exemplary paramedic and shining example of a servant leader.” Her commitment to helping others led Burnette to save a life in June 2012.
Burnette was travelling to her shift at MetroAtlanta Ambulance when she witnessed a hit-and-run accident. A vehicle travelling southbound veered from the right side of the road, striking several construction barrels as a driver of an 18-wheeler parked on the shoulder was exiting his vehicle. After witnessing this crime, Burnette immediately pulled over and rushed to check on the driver. When she arrived at his side, she realized he was in critical condition. After notifying a bystander to call 911, she began CPR on the driver. Other bystanders worked at Kim’s direction to aid the truck driver. After several minutes of CPR, the truck driver began breathing on his own, and Burnette kept the patient in a stable condition for 10 minutes before a local EMS arrived. The driver was then rushed to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
Burnette followed up on his condition several times. The emergency department’s physicians and surgeon gave credit to Burnette for the patient’s survival. After the patient was well enough to accept visitors, Burnette met the driver face-to-face. Burnette’s actions of courage and bravery while putting her own life at risk shows compassion for others, and a dedication to her role as an EMT.
Pictured above l-r Kennesaw Chief Bill Westenberger, Kim Burnette, recepient, and Devan Seabaugh, VP of MetroAtlanta Ambulance.