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American Legion honors first-responders Gentry, Gillespie

MADISON – Madison American Legion, Post 229 has recognized two of Madison’s dedicated first-responders, Captain Ryan Gentry and Officer Camron Gillispie, for their lifesaving work.

Gentry with Madison Fire and Rescue Department and Gillespie with Madison Police Department accepted their plaques and gift certificates from Madison American Legion at the Dec. 9 meeting of Madison City Council in City Hall. Tom McKinney, Post 229 Americanism Chairperson, presented the awards.

Post 229 Commander Larry Vannoy said, “It’s an honor to recognize two of Madison’s finest. These two recipients, as with all our first-responders, volunteer to place residents’ safety above their own. We can’t thank them enough for their commitment.”

Gentry has been a career member of Madison Fire and Rescue since 2010, when he served five years as firefighter, two years as Driver/Engineer and in his current rank/position the last two years. During the first seven years, he worked in the Operations Division. As Captain, he has served as the department’s Training Officer and EMS Division Director.

“Captain Gentry guides all members in preparation to serve our citizens during all hazard emergencies,” Fire Chief David Bailey said. “He collaborates with all internal divisions and with all regional and state agencies to provide excellent training for each individual and for each company.”

Gentry coordinates staff training and patient care parameters involving state agencies, HEMSI and Huntsville Hospital. He serves on the department’s Technical Committee and is a certified Unmanned Aerial System pilot. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in fire administration and fire investigation.

Gillespie graduated from Sparkman High School, began his law enforcement career in 2015 and graduated from Alabama Police Academy in 2016.

“His concerted efforts to proactively patrol, enforce traffic laws and conduct investigative stops have resulted in 40 drug-related arrests, seizure of firearms from drug dealers and the confiscation of large quantities of illegal narcotics making the streets of Madison safer for all its citizens,” Police Chief David Jernigan said.

“Gillespie’s efforts have been held in the highest regard by the Street Crimes Unit and Investigative Division Commander,” Jernigan said.

A SWAT member since 2018, Gillespie has been involved closely in implementing community policing by his establishing personal relationships with the businesses within his patrol zone. Additionally, he has assumed a teaching, mentoring and coaching role to junior and newly released officers.

Individuals are welcome to attend Madison American Legion, Post 229 monthly meetings at 7 p.m. on second Thursdays at Lunar Lodge, 740 Eastview Drive in Madison. For more information, call 256-258-8534, email Adutant@americanlegionpost229.org or visit americanlegionpost229.org.

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