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Our First Responders – Always There for Us

Some public servants are not always front and center in our lives but are there for us in our greatest times of need. Those servants known as First Responders, that live and work in our communities, are often overlooked, until we need them. Yes, police, firemen, and ambulance service personnel are out and about, but do we genuinely appreciate what they do every day, whether we need them or not? Add to these the nurses and doctors in our hospitals and health offices that take care of us when we are delivered to them, often by First Responders.

Those services became more apparent during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, when these men and women continued to do their jobs, responding to calls for help as normal, but often at risk to their own health and safety. Titles like heroes and stars have become a normal way of identifying these fine folks, but Good Citizens also apply. That was the thinking of the committee that planned for the annual Friends of Scouting campaign in Jackson County this year, when it identified the First Responder community as the recipient of its “Good Scout” recognition.

Chaired by Mayor Billy Knight of Moss Point, the 2022 event also recognized an individual that personifies the labels of good citizen and community leader. This year’s recipient of the BSA’s North Star Award is Lee Bond. Lee’s voice during the past two years was constant and reassuring, providing reliable and credible details on how we could protect ourselves and help keep our communities strong. Lee is also the First Responder community’s biggest cheerleader, with whom he and his staff worked with so closely. Honoring Lee with the First Responders of Jackson County was an easy decision to make.

Representatives recognized from the Jackson County First Responder community included:

  • Hope Dossett, RN, Singing River Health System (Pascagoula)
  • David Higdon, RN, Singing River Healthy System (Ocean Springs)
  • Edward Flagg, EMT, Acadian Ambulance Service
  • Sheriff Mike Ezell, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department
  • Derek Kirk Wood, Jackson County Fire Department
  • Lt. Roland Mims, Moss Point Fire Department
  • Chief Brandon Ashley, Moss Point Police Department
  • Chief Hyler Krebs, Pascagoula Fire Department
  • Chief Matt Chapman, Pascagoula Police Department
  • Chief Josh Latch, Gautier Fire Department
  • Chief David Bever, Gautier Police Department
  • Samantha Guthrie, Ocean Springs Fire Department
  • Lt. Josh Fox, Ocean Springs Police Department

Citizenship and service to community are central elements of Scouting. Lee Bond and our First Responders are great examples of both. They are always there for us.

Photos courtesy of Shirley LeRoy


Written by Mark W. LaSalle, Ph.D.

Mark is a naturalist and wetland ecologist, providing expertise on wetlands, water quality and environmental impacts of humans. He has also developed and conducted a number of environmental education programs and workshops for youth, teachers, realtors, and the general public on a variety of subjects including wetlands, natural history, and environmental landscaping. Mark is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (B.S. and M.S. degrees) and Mississippi State University (Ph.D.). Mark is the recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Mississippi Wildlife Federation Conservation Educator Award, the Gulf Guardian Award, and the Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver Award.


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