VALDOSTA – Mayor John Gayle and Valdosta Fire Chief Brian Boutwell honored Lawrence Goddard as the July 2019 Employee of the Month during a recent Valdosta City Council meeting.
Goddard received a framed certificate and a check for $200, and his name appears on a plaque displayed in City Hall, city officials said.
Goddard began his employment with the Valdosta Fire Department in June 2018 and holds the position of firefighter.
Firefighters are responsible for responding to emergency incidents and providing fire, rescue, medical, hazmat and special rescue services while upholding the city and fire department's mission, vision and core values, city officials said.
On the morning of April 30, the Valdosta Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Seymour Street.
"Goddard performed his fire suppression duties well and was a key player in what was a good structural save," city officials said. "The occupant, an elderly lady who had taken refuge at a neighbor's house during the fire, asked to come to survey the damage and, possibly gather a few essentials/valuables.
"She had difficulty walking to her home, as she was without shoes because of her unplanned, hasty exodus. The occupant was grief-stricken when she observed the extent of the fire damage.
"She took a moment to gather her thoughts and then made a few requests for essential items. Among other requests, such as her medication and purse, the occupant told the firefighters where her shoes were stored and asked them to retrieve a pair for her.
"Upon finding the charred remains of the occupant's shoes, Firefighter Goddard immediately decided to remedy the situation. He requested permission to call his wife, Mrs. Patty Goddard, and ask her to buy a new pair of shoes for the occupant. Mrs. Goddard was happy to be of service also and delivered the new shoes to the occupant just minutes after fire units cleared the scene."
“This was not an instance of profound sacrifice; however, it is noteworthy in the fact that Firefighter Goddard displayed the pure spirit of public service in his desire to alleviate suffering, coupled with the equally important authenticity to see the good deed accomplished in an expedient manner,” Boutwell said.