Fallen Chattanooga police officer Nicholas Galinger was posthumously awarded the Three Stars of Tennessee award by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security during an award ceremony Wednesday, according to a news release from the department.
The event, held in the conservation hall of the Tennessee Residence, honors those who have dedicated their lives for the safety and security of Tennesseans. Honorees are nominated by their peers and represent the 11 homeland security districts, law enforcement agencies and emergency responders throughout Tennessee, as well as state agencies, the news release states.
This year, 24 first responders were recognized with First Responder Awards and five individuals were honored with the Three Stars of Tennessee award.
Three Stars of Tennessee award honorees are those who gave their lives in the line of duty, and the First Responder awards ceremony has been a long-standing tradition in memory of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Among the 24 first responders were five Bradley County Fire and Rescue personnel. They include Captain Hank Smith, firefighter Zakk Gilreath, Lt. Aaron Hicks, Lt. C.J. Davis and dispatch supervisor Becky Waller.
"We remain indebted to the men and women first responders who work every day to keep the people of Tennessee safe," Jeff Long, Department of Safety and Homeland Security commissioner, said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to the families who have had loved ones make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty."