VIRGINIA BEACH – The Rotary Club of Cape Henry presented its annual public safety awards to Master Police Officer Terry Schultz, who exhibited both kindness and smarts in his work investigating serious traffic crashes, and volunteer Emergency Medical Technician Travis Smith, who demonstrated leadership while ensuring the city’s largest rescue squad met its demanding work of helping citizens.
The awards, which have been given by the group since 2010, were presented at the Virginia Beach Resort Hotel on Wednesday, March 15. During the event, City Councilmember Jim Wood, who represents the Lynnhaven District and serves as the club’s community service director, said those being recognized demonstrated core principals of the Rotary in their work, including honor and ethics.
They embody the ideal of “service above self,” he said, adding that the Rotary values those who volunteer to serve the city as much as those who earn their living doing so.
Smith, originally from Norfolk and an Old Dominion University graduate, works as a Virginia Beach animal control officer in addition to his duties as operations captain for the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad.
In his volunteer role, he ensures at least three ambulances are staffed daily. His duties include making sure a fleet of 10 ambulances and other equipment are maintained and he works with the city emergency medical services department, according to biographical information provided by the Rotary.
“I always joke that I get paid by the city, and I give all my free time to the city,” Smith said during an interview.
Smith has been volunteering since he was 18, serving as an emergency medical technician. “I like things organized and nice and shiny,” he said. “We do a good job of that at Rescue 14.”
He has worked to recruit and retain volunteers, and he helped develop the standard operating guidelines for the EMS department.
Schultz was influenced to seek a career in law enforcement by an uncle who served in a police department in New York, and he came to Virginia for better job opportunities in 1995.
He first joined the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office in 1996, supervising central processing at the jail, among other duties. He came to the police department in 2002, serving in uniform patrol and later community policing in the Fourth Precinct, before joining the traffic safety unit, helping address issues such as impaired driving and speeding.
He said he enjoyed the challenges of his duties on the fatal crash team. “It’s a lot of work,” he said in an interview. “It’s rewarding. It’s amazing what you can do after a crash.”
Among other things, Schultz was recognized for working an accident this past year in which an elderly person was seriously injured. The victim’s wife was homebound and without food.
Schultz brought her to the hospital so she could visit her husband and he bought her groceries with his own money. He also coordinated with other agencies to get her care.
He also was credited with applying a technique learned in training to reduce the cost of accident investigations, making software more efficient and reducing the time it takes to complete investigations for Virginia Beach.
On top of that, he arrested 30 drunk drivers and issues more than 650 summonses this past year.
During his remarks, Schultz thanked his wife and daughter for their support, and he also thanked his colleagues in the police department.
“There’s hundreds of officers who do a lot of great things every day,” he said.
© 2017 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC