Legion honors Rosemount's finest
Rosemount American Legion Post 65 celebrated its birthday Saturday by honoring the city's finest. Shawn McMenomy received the Rosemount Police Officer of the Year award; Carl Bourdages was awarded Rosemount Firefighter of the Year and Dakota Communications Center dispatcher Mandy Voss was named Dispatcher of the Year.
The three honorees were recognized at the Legion during the club's annual banquet. The winners were selected for the awards by their peers.
Legion commander Bob Racette said the Legion feels it's important to honor those who serve the community. American Legion Post 65 has held the honors for more than 20 years.
The Legion also honors its own during the ceremony. Jerome Tompkins was honored for being a 50-year member of the post. Mike Dunker, Ralph Forrest and Jon Edman received Legionnaires of the Year awards. And Linda Bell, Kyla Mitcheltree and Jackie Edman received Volunteer of the Year awards.
Police chief Eric Werner said McMenomy was selected because of his strong work ethic and character. Werner said day in and day out McMenomy shows that he deeply cares about the community through his work.
"He's done an outstanding job since the day he walked through the door," said Werner.
Werner said McMenomy understands what it means to serve a community and works to do his part to make Rosemount a better place.
McMenomy is a patrol officer who is active in traffic and DUI enforcement. He joined the department in 2011. At that time, McMenomy said he wanted to give his best effort to do something positive.
"He's a team player and understands being active in the community," said Werner.
In her 18 months as a dispatcher, Mandy Voss has shown she's a natural for the job. DCC director Diane Lind said in her short time on the job Voss has shown a lot of grace and skill in dealing with some difficult situations. Lind said Voss was chosen as the 9-1-1 Dispatcher of the Year for those traits.
"She's kind hearted and a good team player. She has the ability to think quickly," said Lind.
As an example of her ability to think quickly, Lind said Voss received a call for a domestic situation. The perpetrator was still in the room, so the caller was afraid to share details. Lind said Voss kept the woman on the phone and asked yes and no questions which helped get critical information to police.
In Voss' short time on the department, she has already dealt with numerous difficult calls, including two suicides and a drive-by shooting. Those calls are stressful and might drive some out of dispatching. But Lind said Voss worked through them with poise and professionalism.
"She is very much a natural. We are so pleased to have her on staff," said Voss.
If you've been to a Rosemount Fire Department event in the last several years, chances are Carl Bourdages planned it. As one of the department's public education coordinators, Bourdages has been key in the department's fire prevention efforts.
Fire chief Scott Aker said Bourdages work has been in addition to his regular fire department duties and his full time job. For his extra efforts, Bourdages was selected by his fellow firefighters as Firefighter of the Year.
In particular, Bourdages helped the department receive a grant to initiate a program to put fire alarms in homes. Through the grant the Rosemount Fire Department installed 200 smoke detectors.
Bourdages often gives station tours and helps plan block parties. He has served on the department since 2005.