HOUSTON - Local first responders were honored by their peers Wednesday night in Houston.
The 100 Club of Houston held its 60th Heroes Awards Banquet to recognize those who have sacrificed over the past year.
Among the honorees were 11 firefighters from Bryan who were involved in February 2013 fire at the Knights of Columbus Hall that left Lieutenants Eric Wallace and Greg Pickard dead and Firefighters Ricky Mantey and Mitch Moran critically injured. Lieutenants Rickey Fowler and Jeremy Riley, Firefighters Chase Hughes and Mason McLemore, and Driver/Operators Billy Huggins, Jonas Brooks and Jon Strickland were honored for their service that night, along with the fallen and injured. All were recognized as Firefighters of the Year.
Madisonville Police Officers James Clay and Tyler Ogle were recognized as well. On June 8, 2013, the two responded to an accident on Highway 21 where a vehicle had gone into a pond. The two pulled the vehicle to shallower water, broke out a back window, pulled the driver out and performed CPR until EMTs arrived. Ogle was named an Officer of the Year by the 100 Club, and Clay earned Rookie of the Year honors.
Houston Fire Captain William Dowling was given the Jay Jahnke Memorial Award for his efforts during the May 2013 fire at a hotel in Houston. Four firefighters were killed, and Dowling was among those seriously injured. Both of his legs were partially amputated. Dowling's family lives in the Brazos Valley.
The 100 Club of Houston financially supports the families of law enforcement and firefighters killed in the line of duty in 18 counties. According to their website, more than $41 million has been distributed over the years, some of that ($17 million) for financial support to families, and the rest for special equipment and officer education.
The Heroes Awards Banquet was held at the Bayou City Event Center.