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PHFR 2021 Firefighter of the Year, Lt. Ashley White

By ELIZABETH GRAHAM, Correspondent | December 13, 2021 | FLORIDA

Story No. 121321120

The Firefighter of the Year is awarded to those who have performed outstanding acts, above and beyond that directly benefits the public and the department. This person shows successful acts of heroism on or off duty and is chosen by their fellow firefighters and the Chief of the Department as someone who characterizes the best attributes of being a Palm Harbor Firefighter. Lt. White also received the Purple Heart. The Purple Heart is awarded to members that are critically injured in the line of duty. Congratulations Lt. White!

Previous: At 3:19am on the morning of September 22, 2021, Pumper 67 and Squad 65 responded to a vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of US19 and Innisbrook Dr. Almost immediately after arriving on scene, no injuries and minor damage to the two vehicles involved, Lt. Ashley White was struck by a silver GMC Denali pickup truck traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. Our crews immediately began working a trauma alert on Lt. White and other units were dispatched to the scene for the original incident. The driver of the GMC was pronounced deceased at the hospital. Lt. White was transported by ground to a local hospital where she underwent two surgeries, one for extensive trauma to her left leg and the following day she had surgery to repair her left arm. After seven days Lt. White was released from the hospital. Since then she has had a second surgery to her left leg and is recovering at home with her husband and young daughter. She continues to improve each day and works hard on her physical therapy. She is more than determined to walk again and get back to the job. The proper placement of the apparatus when it arrived on scene of the initial crash and the lifesaving skills of our members saved Lt. White’s life and Palm Harbor Fire Rescue could not be more proud of all of you. Thank you will never be enough. During our annual awards ceremony Lt. Chris Zipeto, Firefighter/ Paramedic Luca Petrone, Firefighter/ Paramedic Bobby Krayer, and Firefighter/ Paramedic Kyle Drozdowski were presented with the departments, Distinguished Service Award.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.