SCHERERVILLE | The Lake Hills Fire Department and two of their firefighters received state recognition at the February Operation Lifesaver Annual Awards Banquet in Indianapolis.
Firefighters Christine Graf and Debbie Lowe received the Achievement of Excellence Award which was 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 the Lake Hills Fire Department, spearheaded efforts to assist the family of three-year-old Adler Shelbourne who fought a 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 Adler’s Griffith home bringing balloons, monetary donations, cards and enough presents to fill a freight car.
Graf also arranged the “Promises Kept” event which kicked off Indiana Rail Safety Week. During the Promises Kept event, 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 the Tri-Town Safety Village and highlighting the Operation Lifesaver Railroad safety message at 17 community outreach programs in 2012.
Lowe, a twenty-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, Firefighter Lowe has taught more than 300 Operation Lifesaver Classes to children from the Lake Central School District 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.
Fire Chief Shane Adams and Deputy Chief Steve Flores accepted the Achievement of Excellence Award on behalf of the Lake Hills Fire Department which was recognized for their outstanding commitment and service to the people of Lake County.