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17 First Responders Being Honored During 2023-24 College Football Bowl Season

2023-12-18 17:26


  • Copied!

  • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl to Recognize 5 Nashville PD Officers,
    12 Additional Local Heroes at Other Bowl Games

    Gallatin, Tennessee, December 18, 2023—Seventeen first responders will be honored during upcoming college football bowl games for their bravery, sacrifice and service.

    The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is scheduled to honor five Metropolitan Nashville (Tennessee) Police[KB1]  Department (MNPD) officers for their bravery in the line of duty following the tragic shootings at the Covenant School in March 2023.

    The five officers are being awarded the National Award of Excellence for their quick response to the shooting and for preventing further harm. Sadly, six lives were taken in the shooting, including three children.

    The officers will be honored during halftime of the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl, the college football game dedicated to emergency workers everywhere who put their lives on the line daily.

    “The tragedy that our neighboring community suffered that day is unspeakable, and it continues to touch and affect our families,” said SERVPRO Chief Marketing Officer Mike Stahl. “The actions of these five public servants can’t be overstated. They rushed into gunfire to protect innocent children and educators. There is no greater sacrifice. We owe an incredible debt of gratitude for their actions in the face of the darkness.”

    SERVPRO is headquartered in Gallatin, Tennessee, approximately 30 miles from the Covenant School in Nashville.

    The MNPD officers will join 12 other first responders who will be recognized at a dozen other bowl games during the 2023-24 bowl season. Each is being recognized for their bravery and service after being nominated by a local SERVPRO franchise.

    The 17 first responders who are scheduled to be honored are:

    • SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
      • MNPD Ofc. Rex Engelbert
      • MNPD Det. Zachary Plese
      • MNPD Det. Michael Collazo
      • MNPD Sgt. Jeff Mathes
      • MNPD Det. Ryan Cagle
    • Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl: Mountain (Fort Worth, TX) Fire Department & Army SPC Stephen Spigelman
    • 76® Birmingham Bowl: Birmingham (AL) Fire Department Asst. Fire Chief Michael Bartlet
    • Boca Raton Bowl – Boca Raton (FL) Fire Department Capt. Jonathan Taylor
    • Camellia Bowl – Montgomery (AL) Fire Department Firefighter Roger Mask
    • Cricket Celebration Bowl – Atlanta (GA) Charis Putmon RN
    • Scooter’s Coffee Frisco Bowl – Celina (TX) Police Department Cpl. Alex Jones
    • Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl – Sarasota County (FL) Emergency Management Chief Edward McCrane
    • EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl – Honolulu (HI) EMS Unit Supervisor Belinda Lee
    • Famous Idaho Potato Bowl – Ada County (ID) Sheriff’s Office Deputy Todd Nelson
    • SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl – Las Vegas (NV) EMT Paul Zumaya
    • Isleta New Mexico Bowl – (Deming, NM) New Mexico State Police Ofc. Ismael A. Perez
    • TaxAct Texas Bowl – Harris County Sheriff’s Office (TX) Deputy Latavia Davis

    This is the sixth year that SERVPRO, a leader in cleaning, restoration, and construction, has been the title sponsor of the First Responder Bowl.

    “Our first responders exemplify bravery every day, and they are often asked to put their lives on the line,” said SERVPRO CEO Brett Ponton. “The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is dedicated to those courageous men and women who work to keep our communities safe and healthy. We will never be able to thank them enough. We hope everyone who watches takes a minute to think about the first responders in their own communities.”

    This is the first time in SERVPRO First Responder Bowl history to feature an all-Texas matchup when it hosts the Texas State Bobcats (7-5, 4-4 Sun Belt) and Rice Owls (6-6, 4-4 American Athletic).

    Kickoff is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 26, at 4:30 p.m. (CT) at Gerald J. Ford Stadium at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and simulcast on ESPN+.

    Know a Hero? Submit Their Photo

    Fans of first responders are encouraged to share the name and a photo of a first responder in their life for the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl Everyday Heroes Wall presented by StaffDNA. It could be a friend, a loved one, a neighbor, or even yourself. The Everyday Heroes Wall will live virtually on the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl website at

    Free First Responder Tickets

    As an additional way to say “thanks” to those who get there first every day, SERVPRO is providing four complimentary tickets to the First Responder Bowl to first responders on a first-come, first-serve basis. To claim tickets, go to and select the “First Responders” tab.

    All tickets and parking passes will be digital. See the website for more information about tickets and the ticketing app.

    About SERVPRO®

    For more than 50 years, SERVPRO has been a trusted leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, construction, mold mitigation, biohazard and pathogen remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 2,200 individually owned and operated franchises spans the United States and Canada, responding to property damage emergencies large and small – from million-square-foot commercial facilities to individual homes. When disaster strikes, homeowners, business owners and major insurance companies alike rely on SERVPRO to make it “Like it never even happened.”

    ©Servpro Franchisor, LLC – All services in the U.S. performed by independently owned and operated franchises of Servpro Franchisor, LLC.
    ©Servpro Industries (Canada) ULC – All services in Canada performed by independently owned and operated franchises of Servpro Industries (Canada) ULC.

    Unless otherwise noted, each use of "SERVPRO," “us,” “we,” or “our” throughout collectively refers to both the SERVPRO brand and the Servpro Franchise System, which is made up exclusively of independently owned and operated franchise locations.

    *#1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based on Commercial and Residential Attitude & Usage Tracking studies. Polling 816 commercial business decision-makers and 1,550 homeowner decision-makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Studies conducted by C&R Research: Oct 2019 and Decision Analyst: Oct 2019.