Hometown heroes are the focus of annual college bowl game set for Dec. 28 on ESPN
The fourth annual SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is set for Tuesday, Dec. 28, at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas, where the Air Force Falcons will face off against the Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 2:15 p.m. central on ESPN.
SERVPRO hosts this event each year to recognize the service and sacrifice of thousands of first responders nationwide. "This game shines a spotlight on hometown heroes across the country," said Ryan Wolfe, a disaster restoration specialist with SERVPRO of Lawrence, Owen, Greene & Martin Cos.. "We are proud to be part of a company that honors all first responders for willingly putting the welfare of others ahead of their own personal safety."
Each SERVPRO franchise is an integral part of its local community, so SERVPRO asked their franchisees nationwide to submit the name of a first responder in their hometown to be considered for special recognition at the game. This year, SERVPRO teammates selected Sgt. Steven Austin of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sheriff's Office, who was nominated by SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, Maryland.
While Sgt. Austin and his K-9 partner Harley were engaged with other detectives in the attempted arrest of a suspected homicide subject, the subject fired his weapon. The bullet struck a nearby detective in the chest, exiting out his back. Sgt. Austin secured Harley and responded to his fallen comrade immediately. He placed his open palms over the wounds and called for a chest seal, a specialized first aid item that prevents air from entering the lungs through a hole in the chest. Sgt. Austin and an assisting officer used the chest seals to cover both penetrating wounds and turned the injured officer over to EMS staff for transport to a local trauma hospital via helicopter.
After multiple surgeries, the wounded detective fully recovered and returned to active duty a few months later. For his dedication and service, Sgt. Austin will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the game, national recognition during the game, and a donation in his honor to the Warrior Canine Connection.
This year's game will also feature multiple activities before and during the game to bring attention and support to SERVPRO's new partners at the First Responders Children's Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to the children and families of first responders killed or injured in the line of duty.
"We are proud to recognize Sgt. Austin this year, and we are humbled when we think about the countless other 'hometown heroes' who train diligently and stand ready to respond at a moment's notice to emergency situations," said Rick Isaacson, CEO of Servpro Industries, LLC. "If we are talking about firefighters, police officers, or emergency medical personnel, we call them 'first responders' because they are our first line of defense, dealing with the unexpected as it is happening. They, and their families, deserve our thanks and our support every day."
Tickets for the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl are available now at https://www.firstresponderbowl.com/ticket-op. First responders are eligible for up to four complimentary tickets to the game.
SERVPRO specializes in disaster cleaning, restoration, and construction services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Lawrence, Owen, Greene & Martin Cos., please contact Ryan Wolfe at (812) 275-2244 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about SERVPRO, please visit www.servpro.com.
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