Beulah Middle Teacher, store clerk and bagpipe player honored with Citizen Awards :

Escambia County Sheriff Chip W. Simmons recognized commitment, caring and heroism in the community Thursday at the County Sheriff’s Office Citizen’s Awards Ceremony of Escambia. The ceremony honors those whose actions are deemed important or heroic and make the county a better place to live.

“We are here because there are those who take action…those who want to make our world a better place,” Simmons said.

The prizes were awarded to:

Patrick Cornelius is a teacher at Beulah Middle School. In March, Cornelius sprang into action, without hesitation, when he noticed a student choking on his food in the dining hall. Due to his actions, the student made a full recovery. Patrick received the Sheriff’s Medal for saving his life.

Sarah Emerich is an employee of the Circle K store on W Street. In March, Emerich was working with her colleague, Joie Hellmich, when a woman entered the store, poured gasoline and threw lit matches at Hellmich. Those lit matches finally caught Hellmich on fire. Emerich valiantly tried to make out the fire. Emerich received the Sheriff’s Medal for saving lives.

Michael Vazzana offered his unique services by playing the bagpipes to the ECSO during our annual memorial to fallen officers for many years. He was awarded the Sheriff’s Medal for his service in memory of fallen heroes.

Pictured: Patrick Cornelius (top), Sarah Emerich (first below) and Michael Vazzana (bottom). Photos for, click to enlarge.