The Rotary Club of Covington’s motto is simple, “service above self.”
For the club’s Public Service Person of the Year, the nominees always have put service to their community before their self, and that was honored Tuesday.
Exemplifying that motto is Newton County Fire Lt. Cydnie Taylor-Ridling, who won the award, given to her by Newton County Coroner Tommy Davis Tuesday.
Taylor Ridling started with Newton County Fire Sept. 14, 2000 becoming the the first female firefighter for Newton County. After her first couple of years with Newton County, Taylor-Ridling was promoted to rank of engineer, and in 2007 was moved to her current role as the Fire Safety Educator for Newton County, being promoted to Lieutenant.
In her six years as educator, Taylor-Ridling, taught fire safety education classes to over 15,000 students, hundreds of senior community members, countless scout troops and many church, civic schools, businesses and other organizations. In her nomination letter, Chief O’Brien said she “has spoken to well over 25,000 plus residents of Newton County through her outreach and fire safety education programs.
“This positive role model to our young men and women has done more than just teach the concepts of fire safety.”
Taylor-Ridling has also taught fire extinguisher clases, CPR classes, home escape programs, senior safety programs and water safety programs.
Taylor-Ridling was one of seven nominees for the award, the others were: Chris Smith of the Covington Police Department was nominated by CPD Captain Ken Malcom, Covington Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Jones was nominated by CFD Chief John McNeil, Georgia State Patrol Post 46 Trooper First Class Cal Barton was nominated by Corporal J.S. Slayton, Porterdale Police Department Sgt. Nina (K-9 Officer) was nominated by PPD Chief Jeff Jacobs and Lt. Jason Cripps, Newton County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Milton Hightower was nominated by NCSO Captain Keith Crum and Newton Medical Center EMS Lt. Jeff Marsh was nominated by Chief Kevin Johnson.