Mar 27, 2023
Coordinating multiple agencies responding to a boating accident. Saving the life of people who have overdosed. Efficiently dispatching 50 calls for service in a 12-hour period. Pulling someone intent on suicide from the ocean. While these kinds of incidents don’t necessarily represent typical days for Rehoboth Beach police officers and emergency communications professionals, they are the kinds of events – and heroic responses – that were recognized at the Rehoboth Beach Police Department’s annual recognition banquet March 24.
It was a big night for Pfc. Nicolas Aungst, who took home Officer of the Year honors as well as four other
awards. Proactive and dedicated, Aungst, who joined the Rehoboth Beach Police Department in 2019, was nominated by both his supervisors and peers. Aungst was the officer who handled the most investigative complaints and made the most criminal arrests in 2022, and he tied for highest number of wanted-person apprehensions.
Aungst also was recognized with a:
- Firearms Award, for which across three consecutive qualification sessions, he missed 5 out of a cumulative 150 rounds.
- Heroism Award, shared with Cpl. Josh Kosiorowski, for pulling someone intent on suicide from a rough ocean.
- Lifesaving Award, again shared with Cpl. Josh Kosiorowski, for responding with “swift and flawless” action with rescue breathing and Narcan for an unresponsive individual.
- Sustained Performance Award for leading the patrol division in criminal arrests over the past three years.
Nicholas Priddy was named Civilian of the Year for his work in helping the communications center achieve recertification last year as an Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) for medical, police, and fire dispatch services; in 2018, the Rehoboth emergency communications center became the first in Delaware to achieve triple accreditation (for medical, police, and fire call services). He also was recognized for taking on additional shifts to help cover staff shortages. Priddy also received a Commendation of Merit for his long hours, dedication, and commitment in updating policies and procedures to maintain ACE accreditation.
The entire communications center team was recognized with a Chief’s Citation for meeting multiple challenges, including the reaccreditation deadline, staffing shortages, and equipment issues.
Communications Specialist Matthew Ebke received the Lifesaving Award for his performance during a July 5 call in which, in an apparent overdose situation, an approximately 60-year-old male was reported unconscious but breathing. During his questioning, Ebke determined that the individual was not breathing effectively on his own as initially reported. His calm tone during the call was comforting to the caller and helped keep him focused on performing effective CPR, per Ebke’s instructions.
Communications Specialists Gregory Tietmeyer and Micheline Senzamici and posthumously Communications Specialist Danny Mitchell were recognized with Exceptional Performance Awards for their team efforts during two incidents, one involving responding to 50 calls for service within a single 12-hour period and the other, managing radio traffic and requests from a variety of agencies responding to a boating incident –while also dispatching emergency services for a serious motor accident involving a child.
Cpls. Curtis Sauve and Jeffery Bixler received Lifesaving Awards for their provision of Narcan and rescue breathing during a drug overdose call outside of town.
Cpl. Josh Kosiorowski received the Suggestion Award for his suggestion and work on the department’s officer evaluation program, making the process more streamlined and relevant to police work.
Administrative Assistant Marion Jones and Lt. William Sullivan were recognized with a Chief’s Citation for their work on the 50th anniversary celebration of the department’s seasonal officers program. More than 160 past seasonal officers attended the October event. Sullivan also received the Civic Organization Award for his work on several community events, including the Faith and Blue Family BBQ, Sussex County Caroling on the Circle food drive, and Special Olympics Delaware events.
Additional recognitions were presented for length of service, most incidents processed by and highest performance rates for communications specialists, and promotions.