O’Fallon Public Safety Names Top First Responders of 2018

Back Row (L to R): Daryl Ostendorf, Jeff Wild and Tim Claxton, Deputy Fire Chief.
Front Row (L to R): Capt Jim Cavins, Chief Brad White, Ray Rohr, Sunrise Rotary President, Marty Nungesser, Ebony Clemons, Officer Joe Wagner and Chief Eric Van Hook. Not Pictured: Fireman Pete Maclaughlin.

O’Fallon’s top First responders for 2018 were recognized at the Rotary Club of O’Fallon Sunrise morning meeting on Jan 2nd.  Chief Eric Van Hook, O’Fallon Director of Public Safety, named the Police Officer, Fireman, EMS Employee and Civilian of the year.  Chief Van Hook opened by recognizing Police Commission Chair Horace (Hump) Humphries and Commissioner Gene McCoskey, both Sunrise Rotarians, for their service supporting Public Safety.

Marty Nungesser, EMS Employee of the Year

Marty was recognized by Jeff Wild, EMS Business Manager, who noted this is his third time as EMS Employee of the Year.  Marty operates the EMS quick response vehicle allowing a paramedic to reach a problem more quickly than a full ambulance.  This provides rapid patient care and possibly mitigates the need for additional resources.  He was integral to community outreach as a CPR instructor, child safety seat tech, coordinated the EMS Open house, works with the citizen police academy teaches at SWIC and is the EMS vehicle maintenance manager.  Marty and additional EMS employees also raised money throughout the year for Shop with a Paramedic, organized by the Metro East Paramedic Association, that supported 20 children with over $8,000 dollars.

Fireman Pete Maclaughlin, Firefighter of the Year 

The new O’Fallon Fire Chief, Brad White accepted the award for Fireman McLaughlin who was not able to attend.  Chief White reminded the Rotarians that the O’Fallon Fire Department is a volunteer organization with only four full-time employees.  Pete is a one of our volunteer firemen and mechanic in the O’Fallon Public Works Department.  He was recognized for stepping into the officer position and leading the Shiloh station when now Chief White deployed from Scott AFB.  Pete is one of the best truck operators in the department, everything from the from the 100 ft ladder truck to the 1930 antique fire truck.  He also helps to design and build modifications for new and older equipment.

Ebony Clemons, Civilian of the Year

Daryl Ostendorf, Supervisor of Support Services, introduced Ebony Clemons as Civilian of the Year.  Ebony has been a records clerk, but when several dispatcher positions became vacant, she stepped up and cross-trained to be a dispatcher as well. This required an 80-hour basic tele-communicator course and a 24-hour emergency medical dispatch course to be able to provide basic medical instructions before first responders arrive. Daryl recognized her as an ambassador for the city of O’Fallon through her support of National Night Out and the fire Dept Open House.  Ebony represents the Rotary motto of Service Above Self.

Joe Wagner, Police Officer of the Year 

Finally, Capt Jim Cavins, Patrol Operations, recognized the Police Officer of the Year, Joe Wagner.  Officer Wagner has been with the force for 4 years and was affectionally described as making work “fun and interesting.” He brings a wealth of talent as a certified EMT, a certified tele-communicator and a certified drug recognition expert, which is vital at this time.  Officer Wagner has a passion for the job that can be seen though his dedication.  Additionally, as a Field Training Officer, he has brought the position to new heights for the department.

Each award winner received a trophy and gift card from the Rotary Club of O’Fallon Sunrise.  If you see them in the community, please take the time to congratulate them for being recognized among their peers as the best of 2018.