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Master Gunnery Sgt. Pete Trilio, who serves as the fire chief for the Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department, accepts the Fire Fighter Professional of the Year award during the 2011 Onslow County Public Safety Awards at the Jacksonville City Hall, Aug. 17. Trilio was one of the first on the scene after the April 16 tornado.

Photo by Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

Top safety professionals awarded during 2011 Public Safety Awards

17 Aug 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

During a ceremony held at the Jacksonville City Hall, the top local public safety professionals were announced Aug. 17 at the 2011 Onslow County Public Safety Awards.

The Public Safety Awards, presented by North Carolina State Senator Harry Brown and the Onslow County Chamber of Commerce, formally recognizes deserving public safety professionals from the fields of law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical services and emergency communications, who have best served the citizens of Onslow County, its municipalities, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, during the past year.

Of the 19 nominees, seven were personnel aboard Camp Lejeune.

Nominated for Law Enforcement Professional of the Year were Officers Anthony A. Bronkema, Rodger S. Frears, Thomas F. Gagnon, Gregory McNutt and Joshua J. Smith, military policemen with the Provost Marshal’s Office and Special Agent Robin L. Knapp, with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Pete Trilio, who serves as the fire chief for the Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department, was named the Fire Fighter Professional of the Year.

Trilio was one of the first on the scene after the April 16 tornado; he served as the incident commander in the initial responses and helped provide life-saving search and rescue to citizens of the Montclair and Colonial Heights subdivisions. He then spent countless hours over the next two days to provide continued incident command to the area for the initial recovery efforts.

Trilio was also recently appointed to serve on the Fire Rescue Commission by the Onslow County Board of Commissioners and he has also worked diligently for the past four years to help improve the emergency communications systems in Onslow County.

“The honor is truly not mine, it’s for all of the volunteers and everyone who was on scene that night,” said Trilio. “I would rather accept this on behalf of everyone else who was out there that night and the following days. More importantly, the community came together during the aftermath for the next three to four weeks and really pulled together and took care of that.”

Other winners were Marilyn E. Ellis, a telecommunicator for Onslow County E-911 who was named Emergency Communication Professional of the Year, Beth Himes, division chief of Onslow County EMS who was named Emergency Medical Services Professional of the Year and Karen Hasbargen, a detective with the Jacksonville Police Department who was named the Law Enforcement Professional of the Year.

“When you see what these folks do each and every day, trying to pick four of them had to be hard,” said Brown. “What we really need to look at is the collaborative effort of the different departments’ efforts as a community. I think that shows you how this county works together between city, county and base officials.”