Six public safety workers recognized for heroic acts
EAGLE COUNTY – Six public safety professionals were the first-time recipients of a new recognition program sponsored by the Eagle County Rotary Clubs of Eagle, Edwards and Vail in conjunction with the Eagle County Public Safety Council. The awards were presented during a dinner at Manor Vail on Sept. 11 following a citizen nomination process. Nominees were recognized for outstanding service to their communities and contributions to their profession.
Honorees Include …
Moses Gonzales, code enforcement officer with the Vail Police Department, was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the community, which include a multi-year food drive that has collected more than 1 million pounds of food, oversight of the popular Shop with a Cop program for 14 years and organization of the annual Ride to Remember in honor of fallen heroes.
Steve Zuckerman, director of operations for Vail Mountain Rescue, was honored with the Leadership Award for his commitment and dedication to the group and his contributions and achievements, which include representation on various boards on the local and state level, providing guidance and leadership on rescue incidents and the development of statewide helicopter-hoist operations standards used by the National Guard.
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Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Phillip Gurley, Colorado State Patrol Cpl. Coby Smart and Eagle County Paramedic Services supervisor Hank Bevington were all honored with the First Responder of the Year Award for their quick actions in providing aid to Colorado State Patrol trooper Eugene Hofacker after he was shot during a motorist assist. Hofacker’s surgeon credited the three men with saving his life, saying if they hadn’t done what they did when they did it, he most certainly would have died before reaching the emergency room.
Shane Gosnell, Colorado State Patrol trooper, was honored with the Medal of Valor for his bravery in the same incident. Gosnell returned the suspect’s fire, striking him 11 times before the suspect stopped his attack. He then turned his attention to providing first aid to the injured trooper. His actions in the line of duty are credited with saving Hofacker’s life.
The Vail Police Department joins the Rotary Clubs and the Eagle County Public Safety Council in congratulating the award winners.