Optimist Club presents Deputy and Firefighter of the Year awards

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, May 17, 2023

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The Optimist Club of LaGrange presented their annual deputy and county firefighter of the year award during the Troup County Board of Commissioners work session on Tuesday morning.

The awards were presented by LaGrange Optimist Club Vice President Hill Daniel as part of the club’s Respect for Law program.

“In 1951, The Optimist Club of LaGrange was founded by several prominent members of our community, and in 1965 Optimist International created the Respect for Law program. The idea for the Respect for Law program came from a meeting with J. Edgar Hoover and the president of Optimist International at the time,” Daniel said.

The Optimists wanted to create an award that could be used by local organizations to highlight the good work done by local law enforcement all over the world, he said.

“Since the inception of the Respect for Law program, it has been an important part of the LaGrange Optimist Club. Each year we get the honor of working with our Troup County sheriff and Troup County Fire Department to recognize one individual from each department that goes above and beyond their duties to make Troup County a brighter and more Optimist place for our youth,” Daniel said.


Deputy of the Year

Deputy Brady Pike was selected as the 2023 LaGrange Optimists Club Deputy of the Year.

Pike has been with the Troup County Sheriff’s Department since 2020. In just a few short years, Pike has become known by his supervisors as being a go-getter with a great work ethic and an optimistic attitude.

“When tornados hit Troup County earlier this year, [Pike] came in during time off to help clear trees from roads and interstates and assist with service calls. This deputy can be described as proactive, having excellent decision-making skills, and is always willing to take the time to help his peers,” said Daniel, noting Pike is a mentor to those around him.

“It’s hard to find deputies out there,” TCSO Major Keith Flory said. “It’s hard to find good people to put on a badge and a gun every day and ask them to do the right thing for the right reasons. [Pike] does it.”

Flory fought back tears presenting the award, noting he has known Pike’s wife, Allison, since she was a baby. The couple now has their own small baby, who was in attendance when her father was presented with the award.


Firefighter of the Year

Firefighter/EMT Chad Hendrix was named the 2023 LaGrange Optimists Club County Firefighter of the Year.

Hendrix is a veteran firefighter and has served with the Troup County Fire Department for 25 years.

“Throughout his extensive career, [Hendrix] has received a multitude of awards and certifications. Prior to his career with the TCFD, this firefighter served with the US Army so he has a wealth of knowledge,” Daniel said.

Hendrix has used his knowledge in electrical training to care for the TCFD by volunteering his time with various projects around his stations. His willingness to volunteer his time has saved the TCFD and Troup County countless dollars and helped ensure the safety of his peers, Daniel said.

Hendrix is described by his peers and supervisors as always having a positive attitude and an optimistic mindset. He is always willing to help others and assist new employees as they adjust to the department. He is a mentor to all of those around him.

“He is an extremely hard-working firefighter. I appreciate the job he does every shift,” Fire Chief Michael Strickland said. “He has a very strong construction electrical background, and he uses those skills quite a bit around the station. We keep him busy.”

“I thank Chad, and he is well deserving of this award,” Strickland said.