SCHERERVILLE | The Lake Hills Fire Department and two of its firefighters received state recognition at the annual Operation Lifesaver Awards Banquet held recently in Indianapolis.
Firefighters Christine Graf and Debbie Lowe received the Achievement of Excellence Award, presented by Indiana Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Jessica Allen Feder. Graf and Lowe were honored for their outstanding support of the Indiana Operation Lifesaver Program and Indiana Rail Safety Week.
Graf, a five-year veteran of Lake Hills, spearheaded efforts to assist the family of 3-year-old Adler Shelbourne, who fought a well-publicized battle with cancer until his death in September. Graf worked with Canadian National Railroad to coordinate an Adler Shelbourne Police and Fire Parade which stopped at the child’s Griffith home, bringing balloons, monetary donations, cards and enough presents to fill a freight car.
Graf also arranged the “Promises Kept” event to kick off Indiana Rail Safety Week. Adler Shelbourne and his family were the guests of honor at the Lake Hills Fire Department, where they were treated to a fire truck ride and ride on Canadian Nationals Railroad’s “Little Obie” train.
Graf also received praise for her continued community involvement, assisting with Operation Lifesaver presentations at Tri-Town Safety Village in Schererville and highlighting the Operation Lifesaver Railroad safety message at 17 community outreach programs in 2012.
Lowe, a 20-year veteran of the Lake Hills Fire Department, also received special recognition for her assistance with the Adler Shelbourne events and her community involvement.
In addition to her Achievement of Excellence Award, Lowe was praised for her four-year involvement with the Tri-Town Safety Village, where she taught the Operation Lifesaver Program.
Teaming up with CN Police Special Agent Eric Graf, Lowe has taught more than 300 Operation Lifesaver Classes to children from the Lake Central School Corp. since 2010. Lowe also teaches the program to schools in Hammond and Gary and assists CN Railroad with a variety of railroad safety and awareness events.
Lake Hills Fire Chief Shane Adams and Deputy Chief Steve Flores accepted the Achievement of Excellence Award on behalf of the department, which was recognized for its outstanding commitment and service to the people of Lake County.