Black Hawk College recently honored area first responders for their contributions, sacrifices and dedication to public service, including the actions of a 7-year-old girl.

Community members were invited to nominate first responders who have demonstrated a willingness to place their own lives at risk for others or have dedicated themselves to the service of others, according to a Monday BHC release. Events/incidents that occurred in the 12 months prior to nomination were considered.

The college received 58 award nominations for the 2023 First Responder Awards and selected four recipients. The winners are:

  • First Responder Hero Award: Sgt. William Lind, East Moline Police Department.

On Oct. 24, 2022, Sgt. William Lind was critically injured in the line of duty while attempting to arrest a suspect wanted on felony arson charges. The suspect was subsequently arrested and charged with multiple serious offenses, including attempted murder and aggravated battery.

Jeff Ramsey, East Moline police chief, accepting an award on behalf of Sgt. William Lind from Jodi Becker, BHC associate professor.

Demonstrating remarkable resilience and determination, Sgt. Lind has recovered from his injuries. He has returned to work on restricted duty, showcasing his unwavering commitment to upholding the safety and security of the community.

Jeff Ramsey, East Moline chief of police, accepted the award on behalf of Sgt. Lind.

  • First Responder Agency of the Year Award: Moline Fire Department.

This recognition highlights the dedication and exceptional contributions of the Moline Fire Department in ensuring the safety and well-being of the community. The department received the most nominations of any first responder agency. In 2022, the Moline Fire Department responded to 8,592 calls for service.

Travis Noyd, Moline deputy fire chief, accepting an award on behalf of his department from Hope Trussen, BHC student.

Total calls for service have steadily increased for several years, from 7,642 in 2020 and 7,888 in 2021. The department is on pace to respond to more than 8,800 calls for service in 2023.

The department also participated in 7,457 hours of training, provided more than 100 hours of public education, installed 176 smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and performed more than 1,000 business inspections in 2022.

Travis Noyd, deputy fire chief, accepted the award on behalf of the department.

  • Civilian First Responder Hero Award: Peyton Sallows, 7-year-old civilian, and Certificate of Appreciation: Michael Arp, first responder.

On Sept. 5, 2023, Peyton Sallows, a 7-year-old from Port Byron, displayed incredible bravery when her mother was experiencing severe anaphylactic shock. Peyton saved her mother’s life with her quick thinking and calm response when calling 911. Her actions were instrumental in the first responders’ swift arrival and successful life-saving intervention.

Michael Arp, a first responder from Genesis Ambulance Services, with 7-year-old Peyton Sallows and her mom, Ali Sallows.

Michael Arp, a first responder from Genesis Ambulance Services, administered critical first aid that played a crucial role in stabilizing Ali Sallows’ condition when she was experiencing severe anaphylactic shock. This incident exemplifies the importance of community and first responders working together during emergencies and serves as a reminder of the significant impact individuals can have during crises.

Michael Arp (left) of Genesis Ambulance Services with Daniel Marvin, BHC dean.

The BHC awards were presented at the 4th Annual First Responders Appreciation & Criminal Justice Career Exploration Day. More than 100 high school and college students attended and were able to talk to representatives from 18 first-responder agencies about career opportunities.