Oral Roberts University honors six first responders at Christ's Chapel
Six Tulsa first responders are honored by Oral Roberts University today in a special service at Christ's Chapel. The commemoration marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on America.
"The whole ORU community is grateful knowing the local teams are ready to respond during every tragedy," said ORU President Dr. Mark Rutland. "We want to honor all of our first responders who protect and serve the citizens, in some cases, at the risk of their own life."
The service opened with projected patriotic images of the 9/11 event. Conducted by Edward Pierce, the ORU combined orchestra and choir paid tribute to America with songs such as "The Star-Spangled Banner," "God Bless America" as well as an acoustic selection of "God Bless the USA." The Anderson Pipe Band lead the processional with the rousing selection "Amazing Grace" as the American and Oklahoma flags were brought in. Led by State Sen. Dan Newberry, R-Tulsa, the audience recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Afterwards, the local first responders were honored with a thunderous applause by the audience.
"My thanks to each and every one of you for honoring our first responders," Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett said to the audience during the service. "To our first responders, we are proud of each and every one of you. As your city government, we support you. Thank you."
Flags have been placed throughout campus by ORU students to mark the occasion. The flags represent the number of people who died. Other elected officials who were in attendance at the service include Tulsa City Councilors Chris Trail and John Eagleton.
Law enforcement, fire and emergency medical personnel from the Tulsa region were invited to the service. Each local organization nominated an individual that has been exceptionally excellent in their field. Each honoree was presented with a cash gift for them or charity of their choice.
The six first responders who were honored are the following:
Officer Mark Sole
Officer Sole brings professionalism not only to the traffic unit but to the Tulsa Police Department. His passion for traffic enforcement and conducting proper investigations of not only minor collisions but fatality collisions has been recognized by the city prosecutor's office, district attorney's office, the State of Oklahoma and the Department of Public Safety Office. He also volunteers as a Tiger Cub Leader with the Boy Scouts and Tulsa Police Explorers. Presented by Major Julie Harris from the Tulsa Police Department, a gift of $500 on behalf of Officer Sole is being given to Indian Nations Council Boys Scouts of America.
Trooper Matthew Ledbetter
On Aug. 2, 2011, Trooper Ledbetter heard information about a large grass fire north of Sapulpa and took an active role in evacuating a local mobile community that was in the direct path of the fire. Trooper Ledbetter began to establish an Incident Command System for OHP units and resources. There is no doubt that the efforts and actions of Trooper Ledbetter saved lives that day. Presented by Capt. Jerry Reagan from the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop B, a gift of $500 on behalf of Trooper Ledbetter is being given to Concerned Oklahomans for Highway Patrol Society (COHPS).
Captain Scotty Stokes
Capt. Stokes has been with the Tulsa Fire Department for 16 years. For the past 13 years, Capt. Stokes volunteers and manages the Burn Camp each year at Dry Gulch in Pryor. The Burn Camp is an annual opportunity for about 60 children to swim, ride go-karts, play sports and engage in other activities without the concern of their past injuries. Capt. Stokes organizes this camp each year and impacts the lives of children who deserve special treatment. Presented by Deputy Chief Ray Driskell from the Tulsa Fire Department, a gift of $500 on behalf of Capt. Stokes is being given to the Burn Camp.
EMSA paramedic Tyler Wedman and Emergency Medical Technician Patrick Watts
Under adverse conditions during the February 2011 blizzard, Wedman and Watts treated a patient in cardiac arrest for more than three hours, saving the man's life. Because of their medical training, skill and courageous actions, the patient made a full recovery. Presented by Paramedic and Public Officer Chris Stevens, a gift of $500 on behalf Wedman and Watts is being given to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Detention Officer Nancy Estes
Estes is the detention officer at the David L. Moss Criminal Justice Center in Tulsa. Estes was deployed to Iraq when her son became ill. She came home and cared for him for a few weeks until he improved. She then returned to her duties overseas only to learn her son passed away within a few days of her departure. Estes persevered, completed her mission with her unit, returned home and resumed her position at the center as if she had never left. She is an outstanding member of the sheriff's office and is being honored by Sheriff Stanley Glanz from the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office for her outstanding courage.