Who’s News for the week of November 12th-18th

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Photo above: Mr. James Outlaw (left), Master Mason presents award to Paramedic Lindsay Tuten (right).

Beaufort EMS names Lindsay Tuten Professional of the Year

Beaufort County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is proud to announce that on Saturday November 07, 2015 the Harmony Masonic Lodge #22 presented the Asa C. Godowns EMS Professional of the Year award to Paramedic Lindsay Tuten.

Lindsay Tuten has been a paramedic with Beaufort County EMS for over 6 years. When Tuten is not on duty at EMS she is helping with the Child Passenger Safety Program at Beaufort County EMS. She does this by educating and assisting new parents and grandparents in proper car seat installations. Tuten also helps with the employee liaison committee to better the communication between all EMS personnel. Tuten is extremely passionate about her job and takes great pride in her chosen profession.

Lindsay now shares this experience by being a preceptor trainer for new paramedics and new hires. Lindsay works tirelessly to give back to the EMS profession. Lindsay is one of the best paramedics in the state. She has represented Beaufort County EMS in regional and state wide Paramedic skills competitions. Recently she has taken on the task of bring Beaufort County EMS to the public by developing and maintaining the Beaufort County EMS Facebook page, which has over 550 likes already.

“I am honored to win this award. Thank you to my peers and supervisors for nominating me,” Tuten said, “I am so proud to work for Beaufort County EMS.”

Harmony Masonic Lodge presents the EMS Professional of the Year award annually to someone who has demonstrated outstanding contributions and professional service to the citizens of Beaufort County through the field of Emergency Medical Services. The award is named for Asa C. Godowns, the Deputy Director of Beaufort County EMS for over 24 years who was killed in an auto accident in March 2001. Nominations for the awards are submitted by fellow EMS employees.

Veteran firefighter named Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Chief

Longtime Beaufort firefighter Capt. Reece Bertholf is the new Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Chief effective Jan. 15, 2016. Beaufort City Manager Bill Prokop announced the promotion recently after a lengthy review of highly-qualified internal candidates, he said. Bertholf will assume his new duties upon the retirement of current Fire Chief Sammy Negron but will be working closely with Chief Negron to ensure an orderly transfer.

Capt. Reece Bertholf
Capt. Reece Bertholf

“Captain Bertholf brings so much to the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department and to the City of Beaufort. We look forward to his leadership as our new Fire Chief,” Prokop said.

A Minnesota native, Bertholf joined the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department in 2001 after serving in the Marine Corps. Since then, he has steadily increased his firefighting responsibilities while also earning a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree.

“He has a very strong drive, a very strong work ethic, and he is determined to continually improve this fire department,” Chief Negron said. “I am thrilled at his selection as the next chief.”

Bertholf enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps when he graduated high school. His military service included time with Combat Assault Battalion in Okinawa Japan and with MWSS 273 in Beaufort. Bertholf also was a member of the 1999 Marine Corps Summer Pistol Team.

While still in the Marines, Bertholf began volunteering with the City of Beaufort Fire Department in May of 2000 until his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in August of 2001. He started his firefighting career with Beaufort in 2001 and was assigned to Shift 1.

“What a great honor, what a privilege,” Bertholf said of his promotion to Fire Chief. “I am thankful for the opportunity to help the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department continue to move forward, and I am grateful for everything that Chief Negron and everyone else have taught me.

“We have some of the best firefighters in the Southeastern United States working here in Beaufort and Port Royal, and I am proud to work alongside them. They have a deep commitment to the community and they work hard every day to protect lives and property,” Bertholf said. “I’m excited to follow in Chief Negron’s footsteps.”

Bertholf earned his Master’s in Business Administration from The Citadel in 2013, and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from USC-Beaufort and Associates degrees in business and Fire Service Administration from the Technical College of the Lowcountry.

Some of his key achievements with the Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department include:

  • Helping the department earn an $84,000 federal grant to improve air quality inside fire stations
  • As part of team, helped create a new fire department vehicle plan that reduced overall fleet size by 21 percent while purchasing $750,000 in new and more efficient vehicles
  • Participated in successful efforts to improve the fire insurance ratings for Beaufort and Port Royal
  • Bertholf was awarded the City of Beaufort life-saving award three times

Captain Bertholf’s awards and recognitions include Academic Honor Graduate from USMC Combat Engineer School, Volunteer Firefighter of the Year for the year 2000, 2008 Business Division Honor Graduate TCL, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, Class of 2008 TCL Student Commencement Speaker, and Deans List 2009 USCB.

Negron is retiring effective Jan. 15, 2016, because of health issues. He is battling multiple sclerosis and wants to dedicate his full attention to his family and his health. Negron became Fire Chief in 2010. He joined the department two years before Bertholf, and they have served together since 2001.

President of the SC Federation of Republican Women elected

Beverly Brady of Saint Helena Island was recently elected President of the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women. In an election held during the Federation’s Biennial Convention at the Marriott Spartanburg Hotel on October 30/31, she was unanimously elected to the office of President for the years 2016-2017. She had previously served as the Treasurer and First Vice President of the organization. In addition to the State Federation, Beverly was the Membership Chair, Treasurer, Vice President and President of the Beaufort Republican Womens Club. She has been active in Republican politics since her retirement to Beaufort County 14 years ago.

Smith named 2015 SC Public Safety Communications Official

Melanie Smith
Melanie Smith

Melanie Smith of the Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management Division was named the 2015 South Carolina Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO)/National Emergency Numbers Association (NENA) Training Coordinator of the Year at an awards banquet on October 23rd in Myrtle Beach.

The department said, “As evidenced by her performance in her current role as the Emergency 911 Dispatch Training Coordinator, Melanie possesses and regularly demonstrates excellence in all aspects of her job. Melanie started as a dispatcher with the Sheriff Office in 1998 and now trains new employees to receive and properly handle 911 calls. She is responsible for implementing and coordinating the training and development needs of the communications center for Beaufort County. Often behind the scenes and thankless, Melanie’s role is critical to the timely and competent actions taken on a daily basis by our emergency dispatchers.”

Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire District firefighters promoted

After a thorough assessment and interview process, six firefighters were promoted to the Officer Corps of the Lady’s Island-St. Helena Fire District. We are proud to announce the following promotions; Robert Anderson, Brandon Beaton, John Bekemeyer, Keith Kelley, Keith Kersey and Billy McKay have been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. “We had sixteen excellent candidates for the six positions, which made the selection process extremely difficult. I believe the six selected will do an outstanding job of providing services to the citizens of this Fire District”, stated Chief Kline. These promotions took effect November 1st 2015. Also on November 1st, Fire Marshall, Captain Scott Baldwin and Training Officer, Captain Jamie Earle were promoted to the rank of Battalion Chief. Battalion Chief Baldwin has been the Fire Marshall for the Fire District for the last 12 years. Battalion Chief Earle has been the Training Officer for the Fire District for 4 years.