At Tuesday’s Chamber of Commerce meeting, Homewood Mayor Scott McBrayer honored Homewood’s 2018 Employees of the Year.
Brian Jones – Firefighter of the Year
Brian Jones started his career in Irondale in 1996, then became a paramedic in 1997. He has been at the Homewood Fire Department since March 2002.
“This year’s Firefighter of the Year award goes to one of our firefighters, not because of anything in particular he did over the past year, but for what he’s done for many years now, including the last year,” said Chief John Bresnan.
In addition to his fire service, Jones began running his own HVAC business in the late ’90s.
“Over the years, he has rescued many of us with his expertise in this field,” Bresnan said, eliciting a laugh from the crowd. “If you don’t think that makes him a hero, you’ve never had your air conditioner break in the middle of August.”
Chris Morgan – Officer of the Year
Next, Police Chief Tim Ross honored Sgt. Chris Morgan as Homewood Police Department’s Employee of the Year. He joined the Homewood Police Department in 2002 and was promoted to the rank of sergeant last year. Morgan also serves as command sergeant major in the Alabama National Guard.
“He continues to supervise a shift of officers — night shift, which is really one of the most dangerous assignments you could have in the Homewood Police Department, and any police department, for that matter,” said Police Chief Tim Ross. “I’d like to give you just one example of the leadership that I’m talking about.”
On October 5, 2018, Homewood police officers were dispatched to Walmart on an armed robbery call, Ross said. They discovered that two suspects had stolen a vehicle from a female victim at gunpoint. Morgan responded to the call and directed his officers to intercept the suspects who were fleeing the scene in the victim’s vehicle.
The suspects led Sgt. Morgan on a high-speed pursuit that would cover 16 miles in 13 minutes, reaching speeds of 125 miles per hour, Ross said. Morgan directed his officers to perform a vehicle-to-vehicle contact maneuver to end the pursuit. Both suspects were taken into custody without injury, and the police officers continued to secure the scene under Morgan’s leadership.
“Sgt. Morgan conducted himself with exceptional professionalism, and managed to remain calm and calculated in the face of a very dangerous situation,” Ross said. “By doing this and so much more, Sgt. Morgan brought great credit to this profession and great credit to the men and women of the Homewood Police Department.”
Rose Canady – Employee of the Year
Canady started as a part-time cleaner in October 1997. She applied for and received the first full-time cleaning position at the Homewood Library the next year.
“She is a wonderful person and is loved by the other staff members,” McBrayer read from library Executive Director Deborah Fout’s recommendation letter. “She’s one of the first employees here in the morning and immediately goes to work to get the vacuuming done before the library opens to the public. She’s a self-starter and needs no direct supervision. She sees something that needs to be cleaned, and she does it.”
“She’s a good friend and a wonderful coworker,” Fout said at the luncheon. “She’s been thinking about retiring, and I just can’t imagine what it’s going to be like at the library without her.”
— Ingrid Howard