Skip to Content

Nashville OEM Presents the President’s Volunteer Service Awards

Joseph Pleasant; Public Information Officer

OEM volunteers donated more than 50,000 hours of service to the community in 2018

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management honored 24 members of the Emergency Support Unit for their dedicated service to the people of Davidson County.

The ESU was established in 1951 as an organization of non-paid professionals who commit their time and talent to various rescue and recovery missions, and other community projects that save the city thousands of dollars each year. The ESU works closely with many Metro departments, such as Police, Fire and Public Works on a wide range of projects.

The volunteers’ dedication earned them the honor of receiving The President’s Volunteer Service Award. The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes United States citizens and lawfully admitted, permanent residents of the United States who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime.

The highest level is the Gold Award, which means the recipient volunteered 500 or more hours during the year.

Gold Award Recipients

Sgt. Thomas Bilbrey – 1,150.50 Hours
Sgt. Melissa Riley – 957 Hours
Cap. Matt Fuson – 666 Hours
Cap. David Crane – 590.75 Hours
Cpl. Shirley Grauberger – 579 Hours
Brad Cochrane – 508.50 Hours

Silver Award recipients volunteered between 250 and 499 hours during the year.

Silver Award Recipients

Sgt. Rob Boudreau – 485 Hours
Robert Wolford – 472.50 Hours
Celia White – 463 Hours
Brenda Aken – 442 Hours
Cpl. Rusty King – 402.50 Hours
Frank Steiner – 360 Hours
Cpl. Pete Griffin – 347 Hours
Lt. Tony Maiden – 343 Hours
Capt. Audrey Lewis – 277.50 Hours
Shandi Smith – 260.90 Hours

Bronze Award Recipients volunteered between 100 and 249 hours during the year.

Bronze Award Recipients

Cpl. Zach Morris – 244.50 Hours
Jeff Houghton – 212.25 Hours
Sgt. Chuck Koehler – 189 Hours
Sgt. Tray Owen – 180 Hours
Major Jonnie Speight – 178.50 Hours
Cap. Joel Sullivan – 167.75 Hours
Cpl. Michael Talbott – 145 Hours
Luke Reed – 122.50 Hours

Additionally OEM awarded ESU member Sgt. Thomas Bilbrey with two awards named in honor of former ESU members. Sgt. Bilbrey received the Alyce Eason Award and the Capt. David Cain Service Award.

The Alyce Eason Award is in memory of Dr. Alyce Eason. She was an example of a true volunteer and the best of the human spirit. Caring for her fellow man was never a question for Alyce. If the time of day was running out, she somehow added time to the clock to give to those in need.

Alyce was involved in her community more than with the ESU. As a member of ESU, Alyce could not provide the physical support like most, but her spiritual and emotional concern and support for others was second to none. It was not uncommon for Alyce to sit with a friend for hours in a hospital then respond to a mission to provide whatever support she could for the call out. Her concern was to tend to the physical and emotional needs of the ESU members working an incident.

Sgt. Bilbery was nominated by his fellow ESU members for this award.

The Captain David Cain Service Award is name in memory of Captain Cain who was the backbone of the ESU for the office of emergency management.

Captain Cain had a constant desire to serve his community. However, his primary drive was to improve the standing of the organization as well as its members. He sought these improvements through study, education, and training. His efforts and accomplishments were done without fanfare, the desire for credit, and were con-stant. His work exemplified the best of the Emergency Support Unit.

The recipients of this award will continue his legacy of passionately serving their community, OEM, and each other with pride and honor. This award is given to the ESU member with the highest number of reported man-hours for the year.

Sgt. Bilbrey received this award after volunteering a total of 1,150.50 hours during the year. That is the equivalent of almost 50 days of the year.

“I cannot express my gratitude to all of our ESU members who often work in the most treacherous conditions to help their neighbors and strangers,” Nashville Fire Department and OEM Director Chief William Swann said. “Without the commitment that all of our ESU members make to us we would not be able to serve the people of Davidson County at the level we do right now.”

The President’s Volunteer Service Awards and ESU awards were presented at the Annual ESU Christmas Party on Wednesday December 5, 2018 at the Nashville Fire Department Training Academy.

OEM would like to thank Mission Bar-B-Que for providing the food for this event.

Director Chief William Swann, Sgt. Thomas Bilbrey and District Chief Jay Servais

Pictured: Director Chief William Swann, Sgt. Thomas Bilbrey and District Chief Jay Servais