Call them local heroes.

On Tuesday, the members of the Dalton Rotary Club recognized several local public safety and emergency response officials for their work.

“We are recognizing vocational excellence in our public safety officials,” said Brad Rowland, chairman of the group’s vocational excellence committee.

The Rotary Club presented plaques to:

• Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Rick Wheeler

• Dalton Police Department Capt. Terry Neal

• Dalton Fire Department firefighter Chad Hall

• Whitfield County Fire Department firefighter Jeff Ownby

• Whitfield Emergency Medical Services paramedic Tony Miller

The individuals were nominated by their superiors for the quality of their work and their dedication to their profession.

Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said Wheeler exemplifies the virtues the award represents, such as dedication and leadership. He said Wheeler, who oversees the DUI task force, is someone who “goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

Dalton Assistant Police Chief Jason Parker described Neal as someone who “walks the talk.”

Neal, a 20-year veteran of the department, has commanded the patrol division for eight years, and Parker says he still participates in field operations and has made several major arrests.

Dalton Fire Chief Barry Gober said Hall, who joined the department in 2004, quickly distinguished himself for hard work.

Whitfield County Fire Chief Carl Collins noted that Ownby, a second-generation firefighter, has served with the department since 1994. He said Ownby is known for his extensive training and experience as well as his eagerness to share his knowledge with others.

Whitfield EMS supervisor Rick Cobb noted that Miller is someone whom everyone else wants to work with.

Miller, a 30-year veteran of EMS, started as a teenager. Cobb said Miller is well-known for his patient care, patience and being willing to share his knowledge with others.

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