First responder for the quarter and year awarded by the Commissioners Tribunal

Christophe Scieurs

Rescue ambulance emergency medical technician Iliea Bowden was named first responder of the quarter on Monday morning at the Brown County Commissioners’ Tribunal meeting, and Christopher Allen Sawders, a Brown County jailer who died the year latest from COVID, was named first responder of the year.

Brown County Judge Paul Lilly presented certificates to Bowden and Sawders’ widow Marsha, who was accompanied by her brother, Timothy Alldredge. Christopher Sawders, a resident of May, was 54 when he died.

The chaplains of the Brown County Office of Emergency Management Chaplains’ Service selected Bowden and Sawders for the awards.

Ron Keener, North Lake Community Church pastor and volunteer chaplain, was accompanied by 14 church members at Monday’s Commissioners Tribunal meeting. The church offered Bowden and Marsha Sawders $ 100 United Supermarkets gift cards.

“Like I said at our church yesterday, it’s not political,” Keener said. “It’s about recognizing people who deserve to be loved, appreciated and valued.”

Lilly presented a certificate to an emotional Marsha Sawders and read a commendation from the Brown Vance Hill County Sheriff‘s Office. The praise said:

Christopher Allen Sawders was hired on November 29, 2919 as a jailer for the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. Chris was a hardworking and dedicated employee. In August 2021, Chris was exposed to the COVID-19 virus in the fiscal year. Chris ultimately lost his fight and died on September 24, 2001.

“Christopher Sawders was a good man and a true hero. He never thought about the risks and dangers to which he was exposed as a result of his duties as a jailer. His first priority has always been the safety of inmates, co-workers and the public. . May his dedication to Brown County never be forgotten. “

Becky Caffey, Chief Corrections Assistant in the Sheriff’s Office, said Marsha Sawders “knows how I feel. We have become very good friends. The service our first responders, jailers, assistants, EMS, fire, should never be forgotten and go unnoticed because they are always on the front lines and I appreciate it. The sheriff appreciates it. “

Iliea Bowden, first speaker of the quarter

Iliea Bowden and Elaine Keener hug each other after Bowden, an emergency medical technician for a lifeguard ambulance, was appointed county neighborhood first responder.
Lifeguard Ambulance emergency medical technician Iliea Bowden stands next to Brown County Judge Paul Lilly as Lilly reads a commendation naming Bowden first responder of the quarter.
Lifeguard ambulance emergency medical technician Iliea Bowden (front, center) speaks with Elaine Keener ahead of the start of Brown County Commissioners' Court on Monday morning.
Iliea Bowden (left) speaks with Elaine Keener after Bowden was appointed County First Responder.

Lilly presented Bowden with a certificate and read a commendation from Keener.

The commendation said Bowden and his Lifeguard Ambulance partner Bo Ross demonstrated professionalism, compassion and sensitivity to Alice Burks, who was Keener’s stepmother, on September 7 and 8. Burks died at the age of 97 on September 8. while living in Ron and Elaine Keener’s home in North Lake Brownwood.

Ross was first nominated with Bowden for the award, but Ross moved on.

Both went “above and beyond” in their service to help others in need, says Keener’s commendation.

Elaine Keener said Bowden and Ross were the lifeguard ambulance team that responded to the Keeners’ home when Elaine’s mother collapsed on September 7. They managed to put Burks – who didn’t want to go to the hospital – back to bed.

“God brought two special angels,” Elaine Keener said of the rescue team. “I have a hero and his name is Jesus, but he has a lot of heroic people who follow because of his example for us. That day those two were very special. Iliea went above and beyond for m ‘to help.

“The next morning when my mother passed away, God sent these same two people away. It touched me.

Bowden said she and Ross were about to leave duty on the morning of September 8 when that second call came in about Burks.

“We were about to change shifts,” Bowden said. “We got him just at the right time to go. We were both about to skate. We heard the address and we said ‘let’s go’.

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