The Emergency Medical Services Commendation Medal was presented this year to Emergency Medical Technician John Tyler of the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service.
He begin serving as a volunteer in the old Cleveland/Bradley County Rescue Squad in December, 1990, and as a part of that volunteer position became certified as a rescue technician, and further became an instructor of vehicle extrication, hazardous materials recognition, and the emergency vehicles operators course.
He was as a rescuer, awarded Top Ten Rescuer multiple times. He received his tenure there, training in swift water rescue, trench collapse rescue, building collapse rescue, farm rescue, rope high angle rescue, search and rescue. Hazmat technician level training, and weather watch and weather response rescue.
He was elevated to rescue lieutenant and became known in rescue circles for his skill, and was called to work some high profile responses in other counties. He started a fire brigade at Honeywell in 1998, and became an emergency medical technician in April 1999.
Tyler began serving for Bradley County EMS in 2000 as a part-time EMT - IV, and also was diagnosed with stage 4, non-hodkins lymphoma in January 2000.
He was promoted in EMS to a full-time EMT-IV position in 2001. He was honored by Cleveland 100 twice for his accomplishments in EMS and was involved in a response where county EMS was recognized by State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and was awarded this region’s Star of Life Award, for above and beyond care that changed a patient’s life outcome.
He is presently a station sergeant with Bradley County EMS , and works out of the Justice Center Station.
He is heavily involved with cancer awareness and is a member for the Relay for Life. He receives treatment for his condition weekly, but you would never know it by his attitude, as it has always been a positive one. These are the extensive qualifications of this year’s recipient of the EMS Commendation Medal.
The Emergency Medical Services Commendation Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution, may be presented by the National Society, a state Society or a chapter to an individual for accomplishments and/or outstanding contribution in an area of emergency medical services.
The award is intended for paramedics and certified Emergency Medical Technicians, and others in the emergency medical field who have performed an act or service beyond that normally expected. It may be presented only to an individual, and may be only presented once.
The medal may also be presented posthumously, and may be only presented once. The medal may also be presented posthumously.
The speaker for the evening was Melissa Woody, vice president of the Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Cleveland/Bradley County Chamber of Commerce. Second Vice President Dave Whaley introduced Woody.
Woody, who has been with the Visitors Bureau for 12 years, has more than 20 years experience in public relations and marketing, and has served as past president of Tennessee Association of Convention and Visitors Bureau, as past president of the board of Main Street Cleveland, as vice chair of the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association. She is a part-time instructor at Lee University, College of Communication and Arts, and is active in many other community activities.
The subject of her talk was “The Cowpea Festival”; however, she initially developed the concept of “ product development” as it applies to Cleveland and Bradley County, that for us it means “what new tourist prospects can be developed.”
This area presently takes in roughly $100 million in tourist dollars annually. This means the taxpayers in this county have these tourist dollars paying a large amount in local taxes.
She noted the other areas that could be developed locally for tourism. The main one is the Cherokee history of this county and area, including Nancy Ward’s grave, the last Council Meeting at Red Clay, and all controlling and inventory of assets of the Trail of Tears under General Winfield Scott which was conducted at Charleston.
Others include possibly promoting the huge archeological dig which is under way at Fort Armistead near Coker Creek, and the 150th Anniversary of Civil War events that occurred in this area, also the promoting of local events such as Evening Shade, and the annual Bluegrass events at the Tri-State Exhibition Center.
Charleston has recently had a fundraising effort for converting an old bank into a new Heritage Center. This should be a central point for bringing together all the tourist activities in Charleston.
Other projects are on-going in Charleston of an historical nature, with the proposed “International Cowpea Festival and Cook-off” being one proposed, which is scheduled for Sept. 15.
Woody said Charleston has the authentic heritage as the Cowpea Capital of the U.S. She mentioned at first, cowpeas were a low maintenance crop to grow and was first fed to the livestock. It was also noted that after the Civil War things were tough, and the farmers started taking the cowpeas out of the silos and eating them just to keep from starving. Then the cowpeas became a regular part of their meals.
So now the questions is, just what is a “cowpea?”
Woody said cowpeas included all kinds of peas including black-eyed peas, crowder peas, field peas, purple-hull peas, and many others, It’s a generic name for these type peas.
There will be all kinds of activities at the Cowpea Festival in September including amateur divisions for the cook-off, food and craft vendors, a gun show, and lots of activities for the children. Souvenir spoons will be sold for sampling, and Whirlpool has even planned to take five large gas grills to the festival.
- James McLain, who was attending his first meeting since under going esophageal cancer operation in Florida, was welcomed.
The officers reports were given, which included a report on the Statue Fundraising Committee which was given jointly by president James Stone and Stan Evans, in chairman Newman’s absence.
They reported the Statue Project was coming into the closing phases. It was requested all pledges to the project be submitted.
In the past week the committee has met with Mayor Rowland, Sharon Marr of Main Street Cleveland and Josh Coleman, the local sculptor, for co-ordination of all factions of the project.
Coleman has presented a three-phase proposal to the committee for the construction of the statue and placement in the First Street Square. It is anticipated the project should be completed by this time next year.
- Five new regular members, and one new junior member, were sworn-in by Stan Evans. The regular members were William M. (Bill) McClure, John (Jack) Milne, Bruce D. Renner and Robert B. Renner. A new regular member who lives in the Memphis area, Carl D. Evans, was sworn-in “in absentia.” A junior member, Lochman T. Hardison, had his certificate presented to his grandfather, member Claude Hardison, who spoke on his grandson, and on some family names which Lochman was one.
Stone explained the significance of the Society rosette, and presented one to each new regular member.
Stan Evans gave each their membership certificate. Each spoke a few words showing their appreciation on being inducted into the Society.
- Under New Business, State Vice President Claude President Hardison spoke on the chapter’s accomplishments coming out of the recent state convention in Franklin.
He first recognized president James Stone as being sworn-in as the new Tennessee Society Color Guard commander, which is a huge responsibility. He next presented past president Tommy McLain with a State Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts as chapter president in 2011.
Hardison presented James Stone with a certificate for the Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter winning the Americanism Award for 2011.
He presented the TNSSAR Demere Plaque to the chapter. This plaque is held for a year by the chapter that brought in the largest number of new members in the previous year. The Col. Benjamin Cleveland Chapter has won it in years 2009, 2011 and now 2012.
Hardison next noted Patriots Day will be celebrated in Nashville at the State Senate on April 19, and recognized chapter treasurer Doug Carpenter getting Patriots Day Recognized in Tennessee, over a period of four years.
He announced in early June the chapter will again be participating in the 4-H History Poster Contest for fourth, fifth and sixth grades, and noted chairman Dave Hicks will be needing judges from chapter.
- Stone thanked all for coming out, and announced the next meeting will be held on May 10.
Visitors attending included Bradley County Emergency Medical Service Director Danny Lawson, and Nancy Tyler, wife of the EMS Commendation Medal recipient, John Tyler. Prospective members attending were Jack Easterly, Jim Kerr, Shawn Pritchett, Dwight Reagan and Dan Wilson.
Members attending who are WW 11 veterans were Bob Butler, John Echerd, Jack Murphy and Ron Sellers. Hunter McLain was our only junior member in attendance.
- The invocation and benediction during the evening were given by Joe Brock. Owen Cook ledge the pledge to the U.S. flag; Stone led the Tennessee flag pledge and Hunter McLain led the SAR flag pledge. The recessional was led by Van Deacon.