Valor Honorees: Saluting first responders and law enforcement in North Central Florida


June 22nd Honoree


Firefighter Devin Shea Chapman with Gainesville Fire Rescue

Chapman has been with GFR since 2014, and has been a firefighter in Florida for 13 years.

Why Chapman is being honored:

He grew up in Keystone Heights, and worked framing houses to put himself through EMT and Fire School.  Chapman then worked in the Lake Mary Fire Department.  He continued furthering his education, including Driver Operator School and Paramedic certification, along with Fire Officer education and a degree in Emergency Medical Services.  Chapman then began headed up some inner departmental Fire Ground training.  He proceeded to complete formalized Fire Instructor certifications, including Instructor One, Instructor Two, and Live Fire Training Instructor, and he became an Adjunct Fire Instructor. 

Chapman then decided to move back home with his wife and 2 children, and was proud to be accepted into the Gainesville Fire Rescue family in 2014.  Since joining Gainesville, Chapman has become a member of Task Force 8, is certified as a Smoke Diver, is a Fire College Instructor, and is a member of the Gainesville Fire Rescue Mentee Training Program.  He last year was deployed to coastal areas during Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew.  For his service above and beyond the call of duty, Chapman was named the 2017 Firefighter of the Year by the Rotary.

For his dedication and service to his fellow firefighters and our community, 97.3 The SKY and Gainesville Fire Rescue are proud to recognize Firefighter Devin Chapman, as a SKY Valor Honoree...

What is Valor?

97.3 The SKY every year salutes our local fire-rescue, police and first-responding personnel for your dedication to protect our families, neighbors and communities.  The Valor Awards recognize acts of kindness and bravery in the past year that go above and beyond the call of duty.

  • Thursday, June 29
  • 6-8 p.m.
  • Webber Center, Central Florida College, Ocala FL

A huge thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible:

June 19th Honoree

A team with the Shands Cair Flight Program at UF Health Shands…Saluting Communications Specialist Trevor Holt, Driver-E.M.T. Bill Gough, and Medic Joel Snellgrove.

Why Holt, Gough and Snellgrove are being honored:

Earlier this month, this team was transferring a patient from Gainesville to a rehab center in Atlanta.  A couple of drivers were assigned to the unit because of the distance.  The weather was hazardous, with rain and high winds all along I-75.  On the route, Holt-Gough-and-Snellgrove encountered a serious car accident…a vehicle struck a guard rail, overturned, and came to rest with the car’s occupant in danger on the busy interstate.  The Shands-Cair crew put themselves at risk by blocking a lane of travel to protect the victim.  They initiated patient care for the car’s occupant, who fortunately wasn’t seriously hurt in the accident.  They remained on the scene until law enforcement and local emergency responders arrived.  At the same time Holt-Gough-and-Snellgrove maintained continuity of care for their own patient.  The crew afterwards completed their delivery to Atlanta. On the way back, about 100 miles north of the Florida-Georgia line, in the middle of the night, their transport vehicle experienced damage to the truck’s radiator hose.  The crew nursed the truck to a spot where, with the help of some others, they were able to make repair to finally get back to Gainesville. For their selfless assistance in a dangerous situation, for their dedication to their patient’s high level of care, and for their ingenuity, 97.3 The SKY and U-F Health Shands-Cair is proud to recognize Trevor Holt, Bill Gough, and Joel Snellgrove as our SKY Valor Honorees.

June 16th Honoree


Officer Kenneth Bain II, with the University of Florida Police Department

Officer Bain started working for UFPD as a student employed by SNAP, the Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol campus safety and transport program.  After graduating from UF and completing the police academy, Officer Bain joined UFPD as a full time officer in 2015. 

Why Bain is being honored:

While Bain has not been an officer with UF for very long, he has made quite an impression.  One area in particular is in his DUI enforcement.  Last year Bain conducted 33 DUI investigations that led to either an arrest or a .02 violation. 

He is proactive when it comes to traffic enforcement, especially important in and around campus.  In mid-September Bain conducted a traffic stop for speeding.  The driver immediately exited the vehicle and fled the scene.  Bain approached the vehicle and discovered a female in the back seat crying.  She had just been sexually battered by the fleeing driver.  Bain accompanied the victim to the hospital, and was able to identify the suspect.  It turned out the suspect was already known to UFPD and Gainesville Police, and was wanted in several stalking incidents.   The subject was located and arrested a few days later. Officer Bain has also been very active with his SCOPE, his Student Community Oriented Police Effort area, which is Fraternity Row.  He has done many presentations to fraternities related to safety, alcohol awareness, and information on University Rules and State laws.  Bain has been proactive in recognizing issues in his SCOPE area, and then coordinating with the Dean of Students Office to intervene, in an effort to prevent issues from becoming big problems. Bain was recently recognized as the UFPD Officer of the Year. For his dedication and leadership, 97.3 The SKY and the University of Florida Police Department are proud to recognize Officer Kenneth Bain II, as a SKY Valor Honoree.

June 15th Honoree


Reserve Deputy Mark Havelock, with the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office

Havelock works with not only in the Gilchrist Sheriff's Office he is also a first responder, holding the rank of Lieutenant with the Alachua County Fire Department. 

Why Havelock is being honored:

Last June, Havelock was working an off-duty special detail at Blue Springs, and performed an incredible act of valor...risking his own life while trying to save a 16-year-old from drowning.  On the scene, receiving information about the incident, Havelock was advised that a teenager had been under water from 5-to-10 minutes.  He made the decision to enter the water alone, risking his own safety to search for and recover the individual.  Havelock ultimately located the teen, and with the help of others standing by, was able to get the individual to the surface where he started to perform CPR.  The 16-year-old was unconscious, unresponsive and with no pulse.  CPR and recitation efforts continued, and during transport to the hospital, a pulse was briefly established.  Unfortunately the teen was never able to recover. But Reserve Deputy Havelock put his life in danger to attempt to bring back the victim, and demonstrated the courage and compassion that he has shown time and time again in his time serving Gilchrist County.

For his bravery and dedication, 97.3 The SKY and the Gilchrist County Sheriff's Office are proud to recognize Reserve Deputy Mark Havelock, as a SKY Valor Honoree.

June 14th Honoree


Officer Bobby White with the Gainesville Police Department and founder of the Basketball Cop Foundation

White started his career with GPD in 2008.  He has been recognized with multiple "Officer of the Month" awards and in 2012, was nominated for "Officer of the Year". 

Why White is being honored:

In January of last year, a dash cam video of White’s positive response to a complaint of kids playing basketball in the street, was shared on Facebook.  The video went viral, and was viewed millions of times.  The events following the viral video lead to White founding the Basketball Cop Foundation.  The foundation's mission is to work towards improving police and youth relations.  White now balances his duties as a full time Gainesville police officer with the task of running a growing non-profit organization. 

So, here's the story: A call came in to the dispatch center.  Several teens were playing basketball "loudly" in the street in front of a man's house.  White took the call, arrived on-scene and encountered exactly what the caller playing basketball. To hear White tell the story, he exited his patrol car and handled the call how he handled this type of call in the past...and how officers across the country would have handled the call.  Not by telling the kids that it was wrong to be playing basketball, but by telling them that he had no issue with it.  White then proved it by shooting some hoops with them for over ten minutes.  The entire call was recorded on his dash cam.  G-P-Ds public information officer Ben Tobias saw the video, and posted an edited version on their Facebook page.  He pressed "Post" and the video went "Boom".  By 8 the next morning, the video was seen over 3 million times.  Phone calls began flooding in from people all over the world, wanting to commend White for the way he handled the call.  However, White did not feel that what he did was spectacular, and was not comfortable taking credit for what police officers across the country do every day.  Tobias was persistent, trying to get White to do interviews with the media outlets wanting to get White's story.  One opportunity led to a connection with the NBA, then the Orlando Magic and Florida Gators, and Shaq O'Neal.  White decided to start a foundation to connect police officers with kids, and help heal distrust between law enforcement and kids in neighborhoods. In White's words: "Kids who do not trust or respect the police are less likely to report being a victim of a crime and even less likely to come forward as a witness of a crime.  Kids that have no reason to respect the law or the Officers in their community are far more likely to commit juvenile crimes themselves." The Basketball Cop Foundation was born, where sports equipment is donated to kids in their communities through Patrol Officers, opening the doors to new relationships, then regular interaction, building trust.  In a short time, the foundation has supplied basketball goals to 27 different Law Enforcement agencies across the country, connecting hundreds of officers with hundreds of kids.  White's foundations also built two basketball courts in Gainesville, and are about a month away from building a third. For his simple act of Valor, treating kids the way he says any police officer would, 97.3 The SKY and the Gainesville Police Department is proud to salute officer Bobby White, as a Valor Honoree.

June 13th Honoree


Deputy Kenny Holt, with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office

Holt has been with the Department since 1994, a member of the SWAT team for 17 years, and has been heavily involved with training and mentoring law officers in our area.

Why Holt is being honored:

In January 2016, family members of Hannah Brim reported her missing.  Gainesville Police learned that she was last seen with her boyfriend, Nelson Armas. It was suspected she was murdered by him. In February, the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office assisted in a seach of Armas' residence and an area nearby, but Hanna's remains were not found.  Based on evidence retrieved, Armas was charged in the death in September.  Still Hanna was not found, and her family was left without closure. By the Fall, at least 10 agencies were assisting in the murder case and search for Hannah.  Deputy Holt was one of many who participated from the beginning.  His commitment to the investigation and the Brim family, like many others, never wavered.  Holt immersed himself into the information known about Hannah’s disappearance...he worked with cadaver dogs and a Dive Team, and finally Hannah’s remains were found at the end of September. It was Holt's tenacity that helped the discovery.  After not finding her in a primary area identified, he scouted other areas, but revisited the intelligence known at the time.  Holt found a location that was two and a half miles from that primary site, and was convinced this was the place to look.  Even after cadaver dog teams failed to locate her, he persisted.  On the day her body was found, while a search was going on elsewhere, Holt led detectives and the dive team BACK to that location, and the discovery was made.

Deputy Holt’s persistence, to follow his years of training and experience, allowed for the case to be solved...and after 9 months, helped Hannah Brim’s family to finally receive much needed closure.  For his dedication, 97.3 The SKY is proud to recognize Deputy Kenny Holt of the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, as a SKY Valor Honoree.

June 12th Honoree


Lieutenant David Bates with Alachua County Fire-Rescue

Bates started his career with Alachua County Fire Rescue in 1994 as an EMT Driver. Over the years he was promoted from Firefighter-EMT to Lieutenant in 2006.

Why Lieutenant Bates is being honored:

Last October, in an early morning, Bates with Engine15 and Rescue15 responded to a 911 call.  When they arrived, a patient was unresponsive, in cardiac arrest. However, an irate family member, who was extremely belligerent, screaming, threatening to harm the crew while trying to prevent the crew from treating the patient.  Lieutenant Bates immediately requested sheriff’s department assistance, while physically standing between the irate family member and the crew.  Bates’ brave, selfless act allowed the crew to concentrate on performing CPR and other critical pre-hospital intervention, eventually preparing the patient for transport.  Bates made it loud and clear, in no uncertain terms, that he would not allow the irate relative to lay a finger on his crew.  Members of Engine 15 and Rescue 15 are grateful to have Bates as their supervisor.  He is a proven leader, through his example…his hard work, training, preparedness, and he always does the right thing.  Bates is calm under pressure, never needing to raise his voice.

For his selfless act of bravery on behalf of those he works with, ALACHUA County Fire Rescue and 97.3 The SKY are proud to salute Lieutenant David Bates as a SKY Valor Honoree.

June 9th Honorees


Sgt. Eric Hooper and Sgt. Casey Eades, with the Ocala Police Department

Sgt. Hooper has been with OPD since 1998, and a Sergeant since 2007.  Sgt. Eades followed her father’s footsteps into law enforcement.  She has served with OPD since 2008, and was promoted to Sergeant in 2015.

Why Hooper and Eades are being honored:

Last September, a man was threatening to commit suicide, on an overpass on SW College Rd.  He was distraught, and attempts talk him back to the safe side of the bridge’s railing were unsuccessful.  Hooper and Eades reached for, and grabbed the man by the arms just as his feet left the ledge. He was sweating, it had being raining off and on…and the man was slippery. As he began to fall, Eades and Hooper re-adjusted holds, and managed to secure him…finally, they wrestled him back over the railing and onto the sidewalk of the bridge.  Both sergeants held him there until he calmed down, and other officers arrived to assist.  It was later learned that the man suffered from a bi-polar disorder, and was placed under a Baker Act.  The selfless efforts by Hooper and Eades put their lives in danger of being dragged off the bridge with the man.  But their tenacity saved the subject’s life…

For the dedication of these officers in the protection of our citizens, 97.3 The SKY is proud to recognize Sgt. Casey Eades and Sgt. Eric Hooper with the Ocala Police Department, as SKY Valor Honorees.

June 8th Honoree

Ryan Park, Deputy with the Levy County Sheriff's Office

Still a new deputy with the department, Park joined in July 2016.  He also serves in the Marine Corps Reserves, and is a member of the Levy Sheriff’s Honor Guard.

Why Park is being honored:

In April, Deputy Park found himself in a situation which no law enforcement officer wishes to experience.  On a trespassing call at a residence, Park confronted a suspect, who refused to identify himself. The suspect then attacked the person who made the call, and took off.  Park attempted to arrest him, and a fight ensued.  The suspect was throwing punches, and tried to grab a weapon.  Park took down the suspect, who then grabbed at the deputy’s Taser. During the fight, the suspect threatened Park’s life.  Finally, Parks was able to restrain the subject, until back-up assistance arrived.  It was later determined the man was under the influence of PCP. 

Deputy Park’s experience helped him recognize the seriousness of the threat and request additional help.  It was Park’s training that allowed him to survive the intense struggle, lasting nearly 10 minutes before help arrived.  Deputy Park exhibited every core value that a law enforcement officer could hope for; during and after a life-threatening arrest, while bringing the incident to a safe conclusion.

For his dedication to keeping our community safe, 97.3 The SKY is proud to recognize Deputy Ryan Parks with the Levy County Sheriff’s Office as a SKY Valor Honoree.

June 7th, Honoree

Scott Cummings

Scott Cummings -- Firefighter-Paramedic with Ocala Fire-Rescue

Cummings started working for Ocala Fire Rescue in April 2014.  During the 3 years he has been with the department, Cummings has consistently displayed benevolence, compassion and creativity.

Why Cummings is being honored:

Under his leadership, Ocala Fire Rescue embarked on a program which has already shown benefits in our community.  For many years, the department as offered smoke detectors free of charge to the public.  Cummings brought the idea to have crews canvas neighborhoods in West Ocala, going door to door.  Cummings and firefighters took smoke detectors directly to those unaware of the free offering, or who did not have the means to call and sign up for the service.  The door to door installation began on March 2nd. Through May 15th, O-F-R Firefighters visited 990 Homes, and installed 336 Smoke Detectors…and changed 216 batteries.  The campaign has helped foster better relationships with the community, and made a significant impact for at least one family…

On May 25th, Ocala Fire Rescue responded to reports of a fire on SW 7th Street, a home visited by firefighters less than two months earlier as part of a smoke detector installation.  A next-door neighbor reported hearing an alarm and seeing smoke.  The single story home was saved.  When firefighters arrived, fortunately no one was inside the home, and an unattended pot on the stove was removed.  The call was a testament to the importance of smoke alarms in all homes, and to the efforts of Scott Cummings leading the campaign to expand alarm use.

For his innovative thinking, willingness to serve, and his leadership of a lifesaving program, Ocala Fire Rescue and 97.3 The SKY are proud to honor Firefighter-Paramedic Scott Cummings as another Valor Honoree.

June 6 Honoree

Larry Downing -- Resource Officer with the High Springs Police Department

Officer Downing is a 30-year retired Police Officer from south Florida.  He is experienced in community policing.  He has been the Resource Officer for High Springs for the past few years, and has assisted with special events for the City.

Why Downing is being honored:

Officer Downing began his position as a School Resource Officer at the High Springs Community School at the ground level, and his initiatives have helped resource officers become a thriving division for the High Springs Police Department.  Downing has worked hard with school administrative staff, teachers, support staff, parents and patrol officers to create a safer environment for the school.  He has overseen the installation of surveillance and software to help monitor the school grounds, and also assisted with fencing off more locations around the school to assist with control of the campus.  Officer Downing now teaches the ALICE training initiative, which is a hands-on approach that assists schools, business and other community groups in implementing responses to active shooter or high alert situations.

Downing has shown commitment above-and-beyond the call of duty, to the staff that he works with, the children he protects, and the brothers and sisters in law enforcement that he has worked with, in order to better protect the students at the High Springs Community School.  Downing's drive has had a lasting positive impact on the growth of the Resource Officer position, and the teaching of new initiatives.  He will be retiring from the position, and will be leaving very large shoes to fill.  He will be missed, by myself, and those he worked with these last few years.

For his dedication, 97.3 The SKY is proud to honor Officer Larry Downing, Resource Officer, with High Springs Police Department, as another Valor Honoree.


June 5 Honoree


Bryan Bowman, Deputy with the Marion County Sheriff's Office

Deputy Bryan Bowman is a Military Veteran, who moved to Florida and is serving as a Deputy in the Marion County Sheriff's Office Patrol Division 9.

Why Bowman is being honored:

On January 22, Bowman responded to a call...a man had passed out and was unresponsive.  Upon arrival, he observed the subject lying on the ground, not breathing, in a makeshift paint booth.  Bowman immediately began to perform CPR, and utilized the assistance of a bystander.  After performing two cycles of CPR and beginning a third, the subject’s heart began beating again.  After being transported to the hospital, the subject made a full recovery.  Due to Bowman's heroic action and quick thinking, the subject’s life without a doubt was saved that day.  With all of the difficult situations deputies encounter, dealing with crimes and accidents, Deputy Bowman displayed the compassion and quick thinking of a trained first responder, and made a difference in the life of a person in danger.

For his action, 97.3 The SKY is proud to recognize Deputy Brian Bowman as a VALOR HONOREE...


June 2 Honoree

Hunter Kline -- Firefighter-EMT with the Levy County Dept. of Public Safety

Hunter has grown with LCDPS since 2009.  Hunter exemplifies the department’s Core Values, of Integrity, Professionalism, Service, and Stewardship..

Why Kline is being honored:

As an example of Kline’s dedication, while he was off-duty at a local establishment, a patron became unresponsive.  Hunter recognized the severity of the situation, reacted quickly, and performed CPR.  The patron was revived, and is now doing well because of Kline’s quick reaction, and the use of his lifesaving training.  For his response every day, and even while living in our community, 97.3 The SKY and the Levy County Dept of Public Safety is proud to recognize Hunter Kline, as a SKY Valor Honoree…

Every weekday in June, join us at 8:05 on the Bob Rose Show, for a new first responder, recognized for exceptional Valor.


June 1 Honoree 

Officer Richard Pilgrim, Alachua Police Department 

​Officer Pilgrim has been with the Alachua Police Department since August of 2015.  He previously served as a detention deputy at the Alachua County Jail.  Officer Pilgrim is currently assigned as the School Resource Officer at Alachua Elementary School.

Why Pilgrim is being honored:

Richard Pilgrim has shown unique dedication to public service and the children of the Alachua Elementary School.  His primary responsibility is the safety and security of the children and staff at his school.  A responsibility that he does not take lightly.  The children look up to Officer Pilgrim and see him as a role model.  There have been instances where students have come to him about problems they were having at home, with parents or siblings.  During these instances, he is a friendly face and protector that the students know they can confide in.  The Faculty and Staff of the Alachua Elementary School couldn't agree more.  For this reason, Pilgrim was awarded the Officer of the Year at a recent ceremony.  For his dedication to area children, and to the school he serves…

97.3 The SKY is proud to recognize Officer Richard Pilgrim with the City of Alachua Police Department as a SKY Valor Honoree.