Apopka has always been a community that displays pride in its first responders. But occasionally, one of our local heroes is recognized beyond the city's bordres.
Lieutenant Jerold Maynard, the Public Education Officer for the Apopka Fire Department, won the 2022 Safety Educator Award at the Community Heroes Celebration. The fifth annual awards ceremony was held on March 24th at Mango's Tropical Cafe on International Drive in Orlando.
Maynard, the Public Education Officer for the AFD, was given the award 'in recognition of his outstanding contributions in keeping the children of Central Florida safe,' according to the AFD statement on its Facebook page.
"We are beyond proud of Lieutenant Maynard and his efforts in community education and safety. He was able to adapt to a virtual learning environment and find methods of maintaining connections with students and families during the pandemic. He took what has been a challenging event for those of us in the fire service, especially in public education, and made it an opportunity."
The Community Heroes Celebration awards were open to all residents, first responders, safety educators, and community builders that work or attend school in one of the three Central Florida counties - Orange, Seminole, and Osceola.
The event is sponsored by the Children’s Safety Village of Central Florida, a non-profit organization that since 1994 has been one of the community’s leading authorities in current information and statistics pertaining to childhood preventable accidents. Its focus has been to significantly reduce preventable accidents, injuries, and fatalities among our young children. It's located in Orlando on an eight-acre property site that is near the Central Florida Fairgrounds.
The Children’s Safety Village is operational year-round and its miniature “city” includes child-size buildings, paved streets, sidewalks, crosswalks signals, a functioning traffic light, a railroad crossing, Fire Safety House, and a Water Safety Complex.