ROANOKE, Va. – Three first responders were honored in Roanoke on Wednesday for their outstanding acts of service to the community.
The Kiwanis Club of Roanoke honored the first responders for their selfless acts after all of them were nominated by their peers and supervisors for the Kiwanis Public Safety Recognition Award.
Roanoke County police Officer Daniel Lovelace, Roanoke City police Officer David Gardner and Roanoke City 911 Operator Michelle Tringali accepted plaques and a $50 check to keep for themselves, or donate to the charity of their choice.
Tringali was in tears accepting her award. She was close friends with Wendi Winters, a Capital Gazette reporter who died when an active shooter opened fire inside the newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.
The two went to the same church where Winters received Run, Hide, Fight active shooter training.
"She took that training into her workplace the day that she lost her life and used that to help save the lives of her coworkers," Tringali said.
After that tragedy, Tringali wanted to keep Winters' memory alive and protect her city.
"By putting together my emergency operations plans with the faith-based and nonprofit communities of Roanoke City was a way for me to honor her memory and prepare the city and our citizens for the unfortunate," Tringali said.
Kiwanis Club member Steve Mcgraw said they recognize local first responders four times a year for their commitment to protect and serve without asking for anything in return.
"It is particularly gratifying to know that we have recognized people for doing jobs where they seldom get much recognition," McGraw said.
"We're the people that answer your call. We're the people that help you get the help you need when you need it," Tringali said. "So speaking out for them is humbling."