Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Two Schuylkill County First Responders to be Honored at Spirit of Courage Awards

In a heartfelt recognition of their unwavering dedication and acts of bravery in the line of duty, two remarkable first responders from Schuylkill County are set to receive prestigious awards that underscore their commitment to public safety.
For nearly 50 years, the Burn Institute has presented the Spirit of Courage Awards to individuals in the community who have risked their lives in an effort to save another from burn injury or death by fire. More than 500 local heroes, including civilians, fire service, and law enforcement professionals have been honored for their bravery.

SPIRIT OF COURAGE AWARD for Police Officer Michael Hrebik

One of the honorees is Pottsville Police Officer Michael Hrebik, whose valiant efforts during a harrowing incident on May 9, 2023, will be commemorated with the esteemed Spirit of Courage Award. Officer Hrebik displayed exceptional bravery as he risked his own safety to rescue a child during an during a fire on West Arch Street.

The Spirit of Courage Award, a crystal trophy adorned with an intricate representation of a firefighter cradling a child, is presented to individuals or groups who have demonstrated extraordinary courage by saving someone from imminent danger caused by any source of fire. This honor recognizes the profound personal risk they faced, which could have led to severe injury or even death. 

PARTNERS IN PREVENTION AWARD for Fire Chief James Misstishin, Sr.

The second recipient of a prestigious award is Pottsville Fire Chief James Misstishin, Sr., who will be bestowed with the Partners in Prevention Award. Chief Misstishin is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to fire education and prevention efforts in Pottsville and throughout Schuylkill County.  The fire education that Misstishin provided in Pottsville provided the know-how to the child in the May 9th fire, on how to escape and get to the window to be rescued.

The Partners in Prevention Award is a crystal plaque crafted by Crystal Signatures, symbolizing the significance of fire safety and burn prevention education. It is awarded to individuals, groups, or organizations that have made remarkable strides in educating community members about fire safety measures. Special consideration is given to those who have reached large segments of the population or have provided their services over an extended period.

Both Officer Hrebik and Chief Misstishin have humbly acknowledged these awards, emphasizing that their accomplishments are a testament to the collective efforts of the entire first responder community. They have expressed deep gratitude for the support and teamwork that enable them to effectively respond to emergencies and ensure the safety and well-being of the Schuylkill County residents.

Both men will be recognized at Spirit of Courage awards ceremony that will be held at DeSales University in October.