First responders recognized by Hanceville City Council

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A crew of first responders was recognized at a regular Hanceville City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, at Hanceville City Hall. The responders pictured were recognized for their life-saving efforts on an early morning call in January 2023. Pictured left to right are Fire Chief Rodger Green, Britt Banks, Zachary Hightower, Tina Weeks, Shanon Hipp and Derek Bennefield. (Cayla Grace Murphy)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Despite a fairly light council meeting agenda, Hanceville City Hall was packed with first responders and their superiors, family and friends on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023. All were gathered to watch members of Hanceville Fire Rescue as they were recognized for coming together to save a resident’s life, and to witness the promotion of Zachary Hightower from Hanceville police officer to corporal. 

Assistant Fire Chief Bart Absher said the recognition was largely made possible by Hanceville’s commitment to incorporating advanced life support training. The training, while expensive and lengthy, can be a literal life-or-death difference for residents in a medical crisis, such as cardiac arrest, particularly for those who live farther away from hospitals and treatment centers.  

“On that call (in January 2023), our department responded to a residence here right outside the city limits to a cardiac arrest. Not all cardiac arrests turn out good, unfortunately. But this particular one did turn out good. The citizen survived, but it was a team effort,” explained Absher, “so we want to do some thank-yous and commendations for our people who were there!” 

Those who responded to that life-saving call were awarded plaques and commemorative coins, including Fire Chief Rodger Green, Britt Banks, Tina Weeks, Shanon Hipp and Derek Bennefield. 

The Hanceville Police Department’s Zachary Hightower was also recognized as he was promoted from the rank of offer to corporal. Police Chief Joshua Howell shared his reasoning for the promotion, touching on the fact that Hightower started as a dispatcher and has worked his way up. 

Corporal Zachary Hightower (left) stands with his girlfriend Morgan Arrington after being promoted from officer to corporal at a regular Hanceville City Council meeting on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, at Hanceville City Hall. Arrington was given the privilege of the first pinning of his corporal badge. (Cayla Grace Murphy) 
 

“Whether it’s responding to emergencies with composure and effectiveness, collaborating seamlessly with fellow officers or engaging with the community in a spirit of empathy and compassion, Officer Hightower has consistently proven himself as a true asset to our team.” Howell stated. 

Hightower’s girlfriend, Morgan Arrington, was given the privilege of the first pinning of his corporal badge. 

In other council business, bills were paid. 

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