The Harlem Department of Public Safety recently honored two of its own.
Dispatcher Don Ramsey was named 2008 Employee of the Year, and firefighter C.J. Baldwin was named 2008 Firefighter of the Year at the department's annual meeting Dec. 22.
"They caught me by surprise, totally. I really did appreciate it. I was totally unaware of it," said Ramsey, who has worked the 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift for 14 years. "It seems like if anything is going to happen, it is going to happen at night."
Former Public Safety Director Jerry Baldwin, who resigned Jan. 23, said he chose Ramsey for the award based on his willingness to help others, his dedication to the job and value to the department.
"He is very dependable," Baldwin said. "Just his willingness to help others, and his co-workers and just the public in general. He is just a very valuable and very dedicated employee."
After 29 years in the Army, Ramsey said, he wanted to continue working in communications. He joined the department in July 1995.
"It is a good department," the Augusta resident said, adding that he really enjoys the job. "It is a great police department. It is a great fire department."
C.J. Baldwin, of Harlem, is a relative newcomer to the department. He got involved with it through the Explorer program and has been volunteering as a firefighter for more than two years.
"I wasn't expecting (the award)," said Baldwin, who is a full-time firefighter at Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue. He's also Jerry Baldwin's son.
Capt. Tripp Lonergan said he and other department officers selected C.J. Baldwin for the award.
Lonergan said the 20-year-old is very dependable and respectful of others, especially of older residents, often comes to the station on his days off to help out and gives presentations to elementary school pupils.
"C.J. Baldwin is a very, very dependable. He's always there," Lonergan said. "If you ask him to do something, you can just about consider it done. ... I'm always glad to hear he's on the way when we have a call or if we need to do something or whatever."
Lonergan said he's especially proud of Baldwin being named Firefighter of the Year because he's "homegrown," having trained as a teen in the department's Explorer program before becoming a certified firefighter.
"So I kind of look by him getting that award," Lonergan said, "and it makes me really proud, because I know I had a lot to do with helping groom him and everything."
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