2020 Inductees to the Ancient Society of Saints Florian and Michael

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer

Chief Todd SchmadererThe First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

We thank Chief Schmaderer for his professionalism in all circumstances and his dedication and commitment to the City of Omaha.

The First Responders Foundation thanks Chief Schmaderer for his outstanding leadership of the Omaha Police Department, for his professionalism in all circumstances, his dedication and commitment to the citizens of the City of Omaha and the metro area, and for his continuous support of our Foundation.

Todd R. Schmaderer was appointed the 32nd Chief of Police for the City of Omaha on August 15, 2012. Chief Schmaderer leads the largest law enforcement agency in the State of Nebraska, which is comprised of 902 sworn officers and 160 non-sworn personnel. He manages an operating budget of $160 million, and serves a population of 460,000 residents in the city limits.

Chief Schmaderer is a dedicated police professional who has excelled at all ranks in the Omaha Police Department.

He is a 24-year-veteran of the Omaha Police Department, and previously held the positions of Deputy Chief, Captain, Training Academy Commander, and Uniform Patrol Supervisor as a Lieutenant and Sergeant.

Chief Schmaderer is an adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice at Bellevue University. He serves on the Boards of many organizations, to include the Nebraska Crime Commission, the Omaha Police Foundation, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Midlands. He is a member of the Omaha-Metropolitan Chiefs Association, the Police Officers Association of Nebraska, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He has lived in Omaha his entire life and is a 1990 graduate of Omaha Roncalli High School.

Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Omaha Fire Chief Dan Olsen by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

Daniel C. Olsen was appointed Fire Chief on December 28, 2016, becoming the Omaha Fire Department’s 31st Fire Chief.

Chief Dan Olsen

Chief Olsen began his public safety career with the department in 1993 and has served as a Firefighter, Captain, Fire Investigator, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, and Interim Fire Chief before being appointed as the Fire Chief. An interested fact is that Chief Olsen is also a certified law enforcement officer. He graduated from the Omaha Police Academy in 2009. Chief Olsen manages a 116.8 million dollar budget and provides leadership to over 650 firefighters and oversees 24 fire stations. Chief Olsen also manages the fire department’s administrative and civilian staff.

Chief Dan OlsenWe thank Chief Olsen for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership to the Omaha Fire Department and for the service to our community.

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Chief Dan Olsen by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. We thank Chief Olsen for his dedication, professionalism, and leadership to the Omaha Fire Department and for the service to our community. We thank Chief Olsen for his willingness to go above and beyond to support the mission of the First Responders Foundation and for our partnership and collaboration.

Mary & Hal Daub

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Mary & Hal Daub by inducting them into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. Hal Daub

Hal and Mary Daub have a life long history of service to the community and the country, and of supporting first responders.

Hal and Mary have served or chaired fundraising events for Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alzheimer’s Association, Nebraska Special Olympics, Monroe-Myers Institute, Omaha Home for Boys, Friends of Scouting, Optimists Club, the Academic Decathlon, Salvation Army, Madonna School, Junior League, Joslyn Art Museum, Children’s Hospital, Mid-America Boy Scouts Council, South Omaha Eagles and many more.

Mary has also served the community through real estate and her career teaching public school.

As Mayor, Hal is remembered for bringing the police helicopter to advance public safety and infra-red helmets to the fire department.

Mary & Hal DaubHal served as a Captain, U.S. Army Infantry, Platoon Leader and Company Commander, served four-terms in the United States House of Representatives and was Mayor of the City of Omaha. As Mayor, Hal is remembered for bringing the police helicopter to advance public safety and infra-red helmets to the fire department. He brought the Sun Dawgs summer youth program to Omaha Parks & Recreation, the Downtown Riverfront Development for a Convention Center and Arena, the First National Bank Tower, the Union Pacific Center, the Hruska Federal Court House, the Curtis Regional Park Service Headquarters, the South Omaha Stockyards and North Omaha development projects and the West Dodge Expressway.

Hal is now a Senior Counsel with Husch Blackwell law firm and is currently serving on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Mary and Hal Daub by inducting them into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. We thank them for their advocacy for first responders, their long term commitment to public safety and their continuing support of the First Responders Foundation.

Jim Hanson Jr.

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Jim Hanson, Jr. by inducting him into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

Jim Hanson JrJim Hanson Jr. is currently Chairman Emeritus for the First Responders Foundation after serving as Chairman in 2018/19. Jim has been with the Foundation since the beginning and was part of the team that created the #SupportBlue Movement and the 9/11 Minute of Silence. Jim has been an invaluable and dedicated member of the board, serving wherever needed, always with a can-do attitude and a smile.

Jim Hanson JrJim has a long history of volunteerism.

He is the past President of Downtown Omaha Rotary Club. Jim Jr. was appointed to the board of Workforce Development/(Heartland Workforce Solutions) by Mayor Mike Fahey in 2003, for which he is past Chair and on the Executive Board, retiring from the board in 2019. In 2015, Jim was appointed by Governor Pete Ricketts, to the Nebraska Workforce Development Board and presently chairs the Policy and Oversight Subcommittee. Jim is also a graduate of the FBI citizens academy and is the incoming chair for the FBICAAA (FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association) Jim and his wife Rose are also contributors and volunteers for the Nebraska Humane Society. Past activities include: Big Brothers/Big Sisters volunteer, Junior Achievement volunteer, and Past Distinguished and Outstanding President for Mid-City Optimist club.

Jim Hanson Jr

InTouch Communications

Jim founded InTouch Communications in 1996. InTouch has eight employees and is currently the leading Telecommunication Solution Provider (TSP) in the Midwest.

We thank Jim for his endless contributions to the First Responders Foundation and the Board of Directors and for his commitment and dedication to first responders in the community.

The Criss Foundation

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor The Dr. C.C. and Mabel Criss Foundation by inducting the Foundation into the Ancient Society of St. Florian and St. Michael.

We are thankful for the Criss Foundation’s enduring financial support of the First Responders Foundation and for their commitment to the First Responders Support Team and the mental and emotional health of all first responders. Andy Davis accepted the award on behalf of the Criss Foundation. We thank Andy for partnering with and for his continued confidence in the First Responders Foundation.  Andy shared the following:

The Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Memorial Foundation has carried on the Criss legacy of philanthropy since 1978. Multiple health institutions, universities, cultural agencies, scholarship funds, youth programs and social service organizations have all benefited from the Foundation’s generosity. As the founders of Mutual of Omaha, Dr. and Mrs. Criss were deeply committed to serving the Omaha community. That legacy of service remains as strong as it was forty-two years ago thanks to their vision and philanthropic leadership.

The Criss Foundation is deeply honored to be inducted into the National Society of St. Florian and St. Michael. We are especially grateful to support the extraordinary work of the First Responders Foundation.

Our first responders and their families make great sacrifices every day in order to serve others. The Criss Foundation is honored to serve them.

Thank you to the First Responders Foundation and to all first responders for your service and sacrifice.”

Noelle, Awards of Excellence Recipient, Follows Her Firefighter Father’s Example

We congratulate Noelle Philippi for being selected as a First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence 2020 recipients.  Noelle is graduating from Ralston High School. 

The Awards of Excellence are presented to children of first responders who demonstrate a commitment to the community and volunteerism, have good character, and balanced achievements in their lives.

Below is part of an essay that Noelle submitted for the award.

Continue reading “Noelle, Awards of Excellence Recipient, Follows Her Firefighter Father’s Example”

2020 Awards of Excellence Recipients Announced

The First Responders Foundation is proud to announce the Awards of Excellence 2020 Winners.

Congratulations to the following students who have been selected as recipients of the First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence 2020.

Fire

  • Landon Barrett – Underwood High School
  • Michaela Dooley – Yutan High School
  • John Farmer III – Omaha North High School
  • Leah Fitzke – Fremont High School
  • Elise Fitzpatrick – Papillion LaVista South High School
  • Jackson Glup – Plattsmouth High School
  • Tea Jackson – Bellevue West High School
  • Kiley Johnson – Millard West High School
  • Katelyn Komenda – Raymond Central High School
  • Rashawn McNeal-Lee – Omaha South High School
  • Caroline Moore – Marian High School
  • Matthew Neville – Ralston High School
  • Jack Nieto – Papillion LaVista High School
  • Noelle Philippi – Ralston High School
  • Mia Shepoka – Mercy Catholic High School
  • Gabe Stolinski – Gretna High School

Police

  • Claire Benson – Westside High School
  • Julia Benson – Westside High School
  • Isabella Milone – Glenwood High School
  • Jaclyn Negrete – Papillion LaVista High School
  • Owen O’Brien – Lewis Central High School
  • Meghan O’Neil – Skutt Catholic High School
  • Lucy Parizek – Omaha Burke High School
  • Antonio Rinn – Millard North High School
  • Connor Rinn – Millard North High School
  • Emily Saalfeld – Marian High School
  • Halley Shade – Conestoga High School
  • Emma Spizzirri – Skutt Catholic High School
  • Scott Swanson – Omaha Burke High School
  • Tyler Swanson – Omaha Burke High School
  • Amanda Vlcek – Millard South High School
  • Brady Weddum – Glenwood High School

We thank all of the outstanding students who applied for the award this year. The committee was impressed with the large number of exceptional applicants.

The recipients represent families from the Omaha Police Department, Omaha Fire Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Papillion Fire Department, Council Bluffs Police Department, and Crescent, IA Volunteer Fire Department.

2017 Awards of Excellence Recipients Announced

We are proud and excited to announce the winners of our inaugural “Awards of Excellence” program, which go to high school seniors who are children of our First Responders and have demonstrated commitment to community.

The Awards of Excellence were made possible by our Boosters.

The following are the 2017 Winners:

Melanie Doyle, Bellevue West High School
Katlyn Holaday, Cam High School (Iowa)
Kaitlynn Johnson, Millard West High School
Brenden O’Brien, Lewis Central High School
Katharine Moore, Duchesne Academy
Victor Salerno, Glenwood Community High School
Baily OBorny, Bennington High School
Madison Swanson, Mercy High School
Elizabeth Rockwell, Millard NorthHigh School
Brooklyn Housh, Millard West High School

We appreciate the hard work and dedication exhibited by all applicants and wish everyone continued success in all future endeavors.

Awards of Excellence Recipient, Kylie Tierney

Meet Kylie Tierney!  Kylie is a recipient of the First Responders Foundation Awards of Excellence 2019!  Kylie is a freshman at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa and she is currently pursuing a Pre-Veterinarian path.

The Awards of Excellence are given to high school seniors who demonstrate good character, balanced achievement, and outstanding commitment to the community.  These students are also children of local first responders. That is what made Kylie eligible for the award. Kylie’s mom, Lt. Darci Tierney, recently retired from the Omaha Police Department after 25 years of outstanding service to the community.

Continue reading “Awards of Excellence Recipient, Kylie Tierney”

Congratulations to the graduates of the Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program

The First Responders Foundation congratulates the students who graduated from the Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program on Sunday, November 18th.

The First Responders Foundation is proud to support this program that introduces 16-19 year olds to fire services. The young people received approximately 40 hours of training spread over ten weekend mornings. The classes were taught by firefighters from local fire departments and used fire department training facilities and equipment.

The program concluded with a graduation ceremony where each student received two certificates, one for CPR and one for Stop the Bleed. The graduation ceremony took place at the Bennington Fire and Rescue.

Congratulations to the Tri-County Fire Corps Graduates

Congratulations to the graduates of the Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program

The First Responders Foundation congratulates the students who graduated from the Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program on Sunday, November 17th.

The Tri-County Fire Corps Exploring Program is a cooperative effort of the greater Omaha area fire departments, Metro Community College and the First Responders Foundation, in a public-private partnership. This program provides a unique opportunity for 16-19 year old youth to learn the skills necessary for a career in firefighting.

 

Jay Miralles, FRF Volunteer of the Year!

Congratulations to Jay Miralles the First Responders Foundation Volunteer of the Year!

The First Responders Foundation thanks Jay Miralles for all he does to help make the annual Police vs. Fire boxing event Gun & Hoses a success.  Jay says he volunteers to help because he wants to give back to first responders in the metro area for all they do for us and he wants the night to make them feel appreciated.  We appreciate you Jay and all your hard work!

For a Q & A with Jay visit: https://gunsnhosesomaha.com/uncategorized/guns-hoses-operations-commander-wins-award-for-volunteerism/

For more information about Guns & Hoses, visit gunsnhosesomaha.com

Jay is pictured here with Gina Mowat, First Responders Foundation Director of Events.

JAVELAN receives a Helping Heroes Grant from the Petco Foundation

Monday was a great day for First Responders Foundation’s JAVELAN program . The Petco Foundation awarded JAVELAN a $2500 Helping Heroes grant, on October 21, 2019 for service dog training.

Executive Director of the JAVELAN program, Tim McAlpine accompanied by Golden Retriever, General Patton, and his wife Mary, along with Patrice Monnier, of the First Responders Foundation accepted the check from Petco.  The team of handler, Larry Mattson, and his service dog, Sadie, a 90lb King Silver German Shepherd, who will benefit from the grant were at Petco to show their appreciation, as was Russ Dillion from Dillon Dog Training. The check was presented by Matthew Weida, Store Leader, and Shirley Woolsoncroft, Service Experience Leader, from the 13660 W Maple Rd. Petco, and Shawna Weida, Store Leader, from the 7110 Dodge St. Petco.  When Petco guests donate at the register, this act of generosity allows the Petco Foundation to do big things.  To date, since 2012 the Petco Foundation has invested more than $14 million to support the life-changing work of the Helping Heroes service dog program and more than $260 million over all in support of organizations dedicated to creating a better world for pets and the people who love them.

Larry, who is a Marine veteran, has been working with Sadie for five months.  Larry’s exact words are “Sadie has changed my life”.  Larry suffers from PTSD with anxiety and depression and has severe knee and back issues.  He also has high blood pressure and Sadie is trained to alert him when his blood pressure goes above 130/60.  A special twist to the relationship with Larry and JAVELAN is that Larry met with JAVELAN on official business as the NE State President of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.  Larry met to discuss the Eagles raising funds for JAVELAN to help veterans.  During the meeting Tim asked Larry if he had ever thought about a service dog for himself.  Larry said yes, but due to the cost, and so many other veterans having a greater need, it was out of the question.  Tim strongly encouraged Larry to apply to JAVELAN, and now Larry and Sadie are a team.  Russ Dillon who contracts with JAVELAN to train the handlers and the dogs, shared some of the exciting details as to how Larry and Sadie became a team.  Sadie had been part of another service dog program but the home where she was living had another dog who was extremely aggressive towards Sadie.  The owners contacted Russ and said they needed to find a new home for Sadie immediately.  Russ called Larry, who had been accepted into the JAVELAN program by this time, and asked if he could come to Omaha from Kearney “now”, to meet Sadie. Larry and Sadie met and the connection was fantastic.  Unique to JAVELAN is that Russ teaches the handler to train the dog while the dog and handler live together and get to know each other, the dogs are not given to the recipients trained.  This reduces the cost by tens of thousands of dollars and helps strengthen the bond between human and canine.  Another unique feature is that the JAVELAN program continues to work with the team in the future as needs arise. Larry would benefit greatly from balance help.  Once Sadie is mature enough, at approximately 2 years old, she will be fitted with a custom-made stability vest.  The vest and handle will allow Larry to use Sadie’s help for balance while walking, standing up, sitting down, and more. Russ will work with Larry at that time to teach Sadie what she needs to help Larry with balance.  The Helping Heroes grant will help with this training.  In the future if Larry would develop another need, such as diabetes, Russ would be able to help train Sadie to alert for that as well.  JAVELAN is a program for the life of the dog, and when needed will help with a new dog – funding, training, and support.

Helping with the training gives the handler great comfort and also purpose. Many who suffer from PTSD need a purpose.  Helping to train the dog, which takes a few hours each day, gives the handler a job to do, a reason to get up each morning, and “someone” who needs them and loves them.  As in the case of Larry the dogs of JAVELAN, are often rescue dogs, from various situations.  The dogs and the handler are both rescued!

For more information on JAVELAN visit https://firstrespondersfoundation.org/javelan/.  To apply for a service dog and funding contact info@javelan.org.

Again, a heartfelt and sincere thank you to the Petco Foundation for the Heartland Heroes grant to JAVELAN and the First Responders Foundation.

For more information on the Petco Foundation click here https://www.petcofoundation.org/

Pictured from left to right Patrice Monnier, Shawna Weida, Russ Dillion, Larry Mattson, Shirley Woolsoncroft, Mary McAlpine, General Patton, Tim McAlpine.  In front Matthew Weida shaking hands with Sadie.

2019 Inductees to the Ancient Society of Saints Florian and Michael

Mike FaheyMike Fahey

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Mike Fahey by inducting him into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael Society.

Saint Michael, the protector is the patron saint of police and Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters. The First Responders Foundation recognizes Mayor Stothert for supporting first responders and the First Responders Foundation.

Michael G. Fahey served as mayor of Omaha from 2001 to 2009. He is from Kansas City, Missouri but found his way to Creighton University where he earned a bachelor of arts in 1973. He founded American Land and Title Co., now part of Wells Fargo, Norwest Corporation. He has served on the boards of numerous business organizations and community improvement organizations. He is currently on the Board of Directors of First Responders Foundation and the Board of Trustees of Creighton Preparatory High School.

Robert NelsonRobert Nelson

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Robert Nelson by inducting him into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael Society.

Saint Michael, the protector is the patron saint of police and Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters. The First Responders Foundation recognizes Robert Nelson for supporting first responders and the First Responders Foundation.

Bob Nelson is founder and principal of Nelson/Murphy Insurance and Investments in Omaha. A native of Omaha, Bob served four years active duty and another 19 in the Navy Reserves, retiring as a captain. He served on the First Responders Foundation board for six years, during which time he organized the Awards of Excellence which provides $500 to high school seniors who are children of first responders. He is currently working on building the First Responders Foundation Boosters.

Charles SederstromCharles Sederstrom

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Charles Sederstrom by inducting him into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael Society.

Saint Michael, the protector is the patron saint of police and Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters.  The First Responders Foundation recognizes Charles Sederstrom for supporting first responders and the First Responders Foundation.

Charles was born in Deadwood, South Dakota; attended Black Hills State University in Spearfish, and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of South Dakota. He began practicing law in Omaha in 1968 with Donald Erickson and subsequently began the law firm of Erickson | Sederstrom. He has dedicated his career to Corporate Law with a particular reference on Health Law and to serving our community for over fifty years. He is a member and leader in the Autism Center of Nebraska, Scottish Rite, Burgess Health, West Health Institute and Omaha Northwest Rotary Club. Chuck served as Chairman of the First Responders’ from 2013 to 2106 and remains on the Board of Directors.

Mayor Jean StothertMayor Jean Stothert

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Mayor Jean Stothert by inducting her into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael Society.

Saint Michael, the protector is the patron saint of police and Saint Florian is the patron saint of firefighters.  The First Responders Foundation recognizes Mayor Stothert for supporting first responders and the First Responders Foundation.

Jean Stothert is the 51st mayor of Omaha and the first women to be so elected. She grew up near St. Louis and received a degree in nursing from Seattle Pacific University. She worked as a critical care nurse and then as head nurse of the department of cardiovascular surgery at St. Louis University. After moving to Omaha in 1993, she served on the Millard Board of Education and the Omaha City Council. She is now in her second term as Mayor. Mayor Stothert’s first priority is public safety. The number of police officers has reached the record high of 902, the fifth police precinct opens this month and the fire department will break ground next year on a new fire station. She has authorized the replacement and addition of equipment for both the police and fire departments to protect our first responders and the citizens of Omaha.

Secretary Chuck HagelSecretary Chuck Hagel

The First Responders Foundation is proud to honor Secretary Chuck Hagel by inducting him into the Ancient Order of Saint Florian and Saint Michael Society.

Secretary Chuck Hagel was be the keynote speaker at the First Responders Foundation Third Annual 9/11 Luncheon of Honor on September 11, 2019.

Chuck Hagel was the 24th Secretary of Defense, serving from February 2013 to February 2015. He is the only Vietnam veteran and the first enlisted combat veteran to serve as Secretary of Defense.

Some of Sec. Hagel’s recent commitments include service on the Board of Trustees of RAND; Advisory Board of Corsair Capital; Senior Advisor to GALLUP and to the McCarthy Group; Centennial Scholar, Georgetown Walsh School of Foreign Service; Distinguished Scholar, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Distinguished Statesman at the Atlantic Council; Board of Directors of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS); Director and Founding Member of the American Security Project; and Advisory Board Chairman of the HillVets Veterans Organization.

Hagel served two terms in the United States Senate (1997-2009) representing the state of Nebraska. Hagel was a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Intelligence Committees. He Chaired the Foreign Relations International Economic Policy, Export and Trade Promotion Subcommittee; and the Banking Committee’s International Trade and Finance, and Securities Subcommittees. Hagel also served as the Chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China and the Senate Climate Change Observer Group.

Previously, Secretary Hagel was a Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, Co- Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board, Chairman of the Atlantic Council. He served as a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board, Secretary of Energy’s Blue Ribbon Commission on the Future of Nuclear Power, Systemic Risk Council Board of Directors; and as a member of the Board of Directors of Chevron.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Hagel was president of McCarthy & Company, an investment banking firm in Omaha, Nebraska. In the mid-1980’s, Hagel co-founded VANGUARD Cellular Systems, Inc., a publicly traded corporation. He was President and CEO of the World USO, Private Sector Council (PSC), and Chief Operating Officer of the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations (G-7 Summit). Hagel also served as Deputy Administrator of the Veterans Administration under President Ronald Reagan and Deputy Commissioner General of the 1982 World’s Fair.

He is the author of the book, America: Our Next Chapter and was the subject of a 2018 book by General Daniel Bolger entitled, Our Year of War, and a 2006 book by Charlyne Berens entitled, Chuck Hagel: Moving Forward. He is a graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Hagel and his wife, Lilibet, have a daughter (Allyn) and son (Ziller).

(As of April 2019)

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