BELTON, TX — The 100 Club of Central Texas has announced the recipients of the Outstanding First Responder Awards for 2020.
First responders were nominated by their departments and selected by a diverse panel of community members, business leaders, and first responders.
"These men and woman have gone above and beyond the call of duty in service to their communities," according to the press release.
One of the recipients is a Belton Police Department officer.
Sergeant Glenn Bennett from the Belton Police Department is a recipient of the Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer award.
"Sergeant Bennet is responsible for the safe return of two young children to their family after they were abducted in the spring of 2019. He worked tirelessly and coordinated with departments across the country to track and apprehend the suspect," The 100 Club of Central Texas said.
Other recipients included:
Outstanding Administrative Technician – Kim Rendon, Round Rock Police Department
Kim Rendon has worked with the Round Rock Police Department for 12 years, never wavering in her commitment to service. She is an invaluable asset for every shift, goes out of her way to ensure all the officers and dispatchers know they are appreciated at all times, and stands by to provide comfort during difficult times.
Outstanding Firefighter – Lieutenant Christopher Wood, Lake Travis Fire Rescue, and Firefighter Justin LaPree, Austin Fire Department
Lieutenant Wood and Firefighter LaPree were both off-duty, traveling separately, in May 2019 when a small plane crashed near the intersection of The Hills Drive and Lakeway Boulevard in Lakeway. The firefighters independently chose to stop and render aid to the two pilots, ultimately saving the life of one.
Outstanding Team – Buda Fire Department and Hays County Sheriff’s Office
Members of Hays County Sheriff’s Office and Buda Fire Department were dispatched to a home where a young child had been discovered at the bottom of a swimming pool during a party. Thanks to their valiant efforts, that child is now healthy and at home with his family.
Chair Award – Chris Connealy, Williamson County Emergency Services
Chris Connealy has worked in every role of the fire service during his storied career. He began in Houston and worked his way up to Fire Chief before moving to Austin. He has since served as the State Fire Marshal and is currently the Senior Director of Williamson County Emergency Services.
Lifetime Achievement – Heidi Wittie, Austin Police Department
Heidi Wittie has dedicated 18 years of her life to serving the officers of the Austin Police Department. In addition to putting in her all every day in the office, she volunteers with the Blue Santa Program each year, earned her Criminal Justice degree while working full time, and has provided invaluable insight and support to projects like the RISE Team.