Top Officer and Firefighter recognized at Council
(Officer Abby Ballman and Mayor Marc Sirkin; Firefighter Courtenay Brooks and Mayor Mark Sirkin)
(November 18, 2022 - Blue Ash)
Two Blue Ash first responders have been named the 2022 Firefighter of the Year and the 2022 Police Officer of the Year in the fourth annual Safety Awards presented by American Legion NE Post 630.
Blue Ash Police Officer Abby Ballman was designated the 2022 Police Officer of the Year and Courtenay Brooks was chosen as the 2022 Firefighter of the Year.
The Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year Safety Awards were presented at the November 10 City Council meeting by American Legion NE Post 630 Commander Jim Meyers and Mayor Marc Sirkin.
The Blue Ash Safety Award winners are given a plaque and their names are added to a Perpetuity Award plaque each year.
Abby Ballman was born and raised on the westside of Cincinnati. She graduated from Mother of Mercy High School in 2008. Abby attended Shawnee State University where she played basketball for 4 years. Abby was a 2 time All-American and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018. Abby graduated Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice in 2012. Abby worked for Hamilton County Probation Department for 4 years. She started her law enforcement career with the Delhi Township Police Department in 2016. Abby joined the Blue Ash Police Department in January of 2020. Abby’s pride and joy is her beautiful baby girl, Isabella, who just turned one. Abby tells us that she absolutely loves working for Blue Ash.
Courtenay Brooks began her fire service career in 1993 as a part-time/volunteer with both the City of Blue Ash and Sycamore Township Fire Departments. In 1998, she tested and earned a position as a full-time department member with the City of Blue Ash where she has loyally served for the past 25 years (almost). Through the years, Courtenay has been an integral part of the department’s community outreach efforts. She has taught countless CPR, First Aid, and Fire Extinguisher classes for the community and surrounding businesses. She is often requested by name to instruct these classes due to her ability to connect with her students with her entertaining delivery style. She has been involved with the Juvenile Fire Setter Program which provides education and support to troubled young boys and girls regarding fire safety. Since 2004, Courtenay has led the department's efforts in planning, coordinating, and ensuring the success of our ever-popular Open House event held each October. The event is a hit each year and is largely due to the immense effort Courtney puts forth. Courtenay has had a leading role with the “Can You Take the Heat” program since its inception. This program was started in the early 2000s by her late mother, retired Forest Park Fire Chief Trish Brooks, in an effort to recruit, educate, and support female participation in the fire service. The program has inspired hundreds of young women to join the fire service and Courtenay’s hard work has been instrumental in continuing this important effort started by her mother more than 20 years ago. For these reasons, Courtenay Brooks has been nominated as Firefighter of the Year. Her professionalism, her dedication to the community, her ability to fill the room with laughter, and her devotion to her fellow firefighters and the department make her a deserving recipient of this honor.