State Honors Palm Bay Firefighter For Heroism

By  //  March 20, 2013

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Lt. Jim Hamor Receives Honor In Tallahassee

ABOVE VIDEO: Fire and emergency medical response services in Palm Bay and South Brevard County will benefit from a new mutual agreement between city and county providers that will significantly improve emergency response to the public.

BREVARD COUNTY • PALM BAY, FLORIDA – Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Lieutenant Jim Hamor has received the highest recognition for all career firefighters in the state of Florida.

Lt. Jim Hamor of Palm Bay Fire Rescue was named Florida Career Firefighter of the Year for 2012 and accepted the award at a special ceremony in Tallahassee on Monday. (Image courtesy of Palm Bay Fire Rescue)

Hamor was named Florida Career Firefighter of the Year for 2012 and accepted the award at a special ceremony in Tallahassee on Monday evening. He was recognized by the governor and cabinet during a regular meeting Tuesday morning.

He accompanied by his wife, Andrea, Palm Bay Fire Chief Jim Stables and several of his colleagues.

Hamor was selected from a pool of dozens of nominations representing thousands of firefighters throughout the state of Florida.

Palm Bay Fire Chief Jim Stables nominated Hamor for his heroic actions in July 2012 when he put himself in harm’s way to save the life of a woman in distress.

Jim Stables

“It was this action among many others that stood out as a shining example of what true character is all about,” Chief Stables said.

“Lt. Hamor epitomizes the fire-rescue commitment to always do the right thing.”

During the award presentation Monday, the State Fire Marshal and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater read an account of Hamor’s heroic actions.

On July 22, 2012 at about 7:30 a.m., Hamor was heading home after completing his shift. While driving on Babcock Street near Port Malabar Boulevard, he noticed a slow-moving vehicle.

Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Lieutenant Jim Hamor has received the highest recognition for all career firefighters in the state of Florida.

The vehicle was heading south toward him. Hamor glanced at the driver and noticed she appeared to be in distress.

The vehicle continued south and crossed the median into oncoming traffic.

At that time, Hamor turned around and positioned his vehicle in front of hers in an attempt to get her to stop.  Once he stopped the vehicle he made contact with the driver who was unconscious and barely breathing.

Firefighter Matthew St. Pierre, who also was on his way home pulled up to render aid.

“For his selfless and decisive action, many lives were saved that day as well as that individual,” Atwater said. “For this reason Lt. James Hamor is being recognized as Florida’s Career Firefighter of the Year and we thank him for his service.”

The woman stopped breathing and the two firefighters immediately began CPR while an off-duty police officer controlled traffic in the area. Hamor notified emergency dispatchers to send rescue units.

The woman was stabilized, transported to the hospital and survived what appeared to be a heart attack.

“For his selfless and decisive action, many lives were saved that day as well as that individual,” Atwater said. “For this reason Lt. James Hamor is being recognized as Florida’s Career Firefighter of the Year and we thank him for his service.”

Professor at Brevard Community College’s Institute of Public Safety

Hamor began his career with Palm Bay Fire-Rescue in February 1988. He rose to the rank of driver engineer in December of 1996 and to the rank of lieutenant in September 2007.

He currently serves on the Technical Rescue Team and is always available to mentor new paramedics. His personnel file contains numerous letters of commendation by citizens, supervisors and city officials.

He also is an adjunct professor at Brevard Community College’s Institute of Public Safety on the Melbourne Campus, where he has taught medical first responder and EMT and paramedic lab, clinical and lecture classes since 2008.

In September 2012, the Palm Bay Fire-Rescue Department honored Hamor with the department’s Medal of Valor and a Life-Saving Award for his actions during this incident.

William Capote

Hamor said the most rewarding part of that ceremony was the unexpected presence of the patient and her family and their heartfelt thanks.

“Lt. Hamor is just one of the many reasons why Palm Bay is such a great place to call home,” said Palm Bay Mayor William Capote. “We are so proud of him and appreciate all he, and of all the men and women who dedicate their lives to public safety, do on a daily basis to serve our citizens. That is what we are all about.”


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