‘Hometown heroes’ being honored in Fairfield as part of Sept. 11 ceremony

The Fairfield Community Foundation, in partnership with Fairfield city and township and Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital, will honor on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, hometown heroes in the greater Fairfield area, which includes police, fire and medical professionals. PROVIDED
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The Fairfield Community Foundation, in partnership with Fairfield city and township and Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital, will honor on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, hometown heroes in the greater Fairfield area, which includes police, fire and medical professionals. PROVIDED

Credit: Provided

Credit: Provided

All were nominated for service to their community.

Fairfield Community Foundation, Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital and the communities of Fairfield and Fairfield Twp. today will remember those who died on Sept. 11, 2001, and those first responders who ran toward the danger and worked tireless hours to aid the victims.

Part of the remembrance is to honor heroes from Fairfield and Fairfield Twp. — police officers, firefighters and those in the medical community — who have been nominated by residents.

One person was selected from each category.

While Fairfield Community Foundation President Ronda Croucher said these three represent the specific groups of first responders, they were nominated for their service to the community.

“It was a way to honor the day in this 20th year, and thinking about it for us at home, thinking about those amongst us who are engaged in those kinds of work,” said Croucher.

The Greater Fairfield Hometown Heroes will be honored at 11 a.m. as part of the Sept. 11 remembrance at the Fairfield Veterans Memorial Park..

The event starts with a welcome from Fairfield Mayor Steve Miller before the color guards of the Fairfield and Fairfield Twp. police and fire departments will perform. Fairfield Wesleyan Church Pastor Billy Bruns will say the invocation and Congressman Warren Davidson will talk about Sept. 11. Then the hometown hero honorees will be presented by Fairfield Community Foundation Chairman Doug Robertson.

The honorees include:

Firefighter/paramedic Jeff Vater: Though he’s a part-time firefighter (he works full-time with the Cincinnati Fire Department), Vater’s greatest contribution over the past year was his actions in December 2020 on Chateau Way when there was a report of a person still inside a home, according to his nomination.

Vater and his crew attempted to enter the front of the building, but the fire and heat were too much. Vater went to the rear of the building, found the missing person and dragged them out. The person died at the hospital, but the person who nominated Vater said his “actions gave the person a chance to live by finding them and removing them from the dangerous conditions that were present inside the building.”

Police Officer Greg Bailes: The 19-year Fairfield police veteran was nominated for his commitment to the community. Bailes and his family founded in 2013 the Broken Bus Ministry, which serves the homeless population of the Greater Cincinnati Area.

“What began as four people serving food out of their vehicle every Saturday evolved into a larger group of volunteers who provide service to many of the neediest members of our community each weekend,” according to the nomination letter, which also referenced Bailes’ service as the board president with Transitional Living, Inc., a nonprofit that provides mental health services in Butler County.

Matthews Dameron: Over the past year, Dameron not only cared for COVID-19 patients, but also taught and mentored the 5C staff at Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital to help care for this population.

“The 5C team and ICU team collaborated to provide care quickly to the influx of very sick patients requiring critical respiratory care. Matt volunteered to work this floor and helped with creating a plan on educating staff. He is a great leader, teacher, mentor and nurse,” according to his nomination.