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Phoenix Awards Honor First Responders, Baby's Mom

Phoenix Awards issued to Aurora first responders, mother for saving baby’s life
Posted on 10/04/2022
Sharon Thompson hugs Aurora Fire Rescue Capt. Joe Hill while holding baby Alexander

Multiple first responders from various Aurora agencies were recognized Oct. 4 with a special award for their role in saving a baby’s life. The Phoenix Award is given to first responders when they successfully bring back to life individuals who were in cardiac arrest and who make a complete and neurologically intact recovery from the event.

During the afternoon of Aug. 11, 2022, Sharon Thompson was at home and found her baby, Alexander, unconscious and not breathing. She called 911, and an Emergency Communications Specialist with Aurora911 provided immediate assistance to guide the mother through life-saving measures, including instructing her how to deliver the first mouth-to-mouth ventilations and chest compressions to Alexander. An Aurora Police Officer and an Aurora Fire Rescue Battalion Chief quickly arrived at the residence and provided CPR to Alexander and were successful in restarting his heart. Paramedics from Aurora Fire Rescue and Falck Rocky Mountain continued to provide life-saving medical care to Alexander all the way to the hospital, where he made a full recovery.

At Aurora Fire Rescue Station 10 this morning, leaders from Aurora911, Aurora Police Department, Aurora Fire Rescue and Falck Rocky Mountain presented the award to members of their staff who helped bring about a positive outcome for Alexander. Throughout the ceremony, the consistent theme was the importance of teamwork between all public safety partners, to include residents who make the initial call to 911 for help. Those recipients include:


  • Emergency Communications Specialist Julie McKay

Aurora Fire Rescue

  • Lt. Patrick Taylor
  • Capt. Joe Hill
  • Fire Medic Michael Wu
  • Engineer Dave Hamam
  • Fire Medic Bryant Snow

Aurora Police Department

  • Officer Daniel Kennicutt

Falck Rocky Mountain

  • Emergency Medical Technician Tee Than
  • Medic Kenneth Mackey (did not attend)

Sharon and Alexander’s family also attended the presentation to offer their gratitude and thank the first responders. Due to her outstanding focus and performance of CPR during a traumatic event no mother should experience, Sharon was also honored at the ceremony with her own Phoenix Award.

“I am celebrating Alexander’s life. I thought my baby was gone, but he came back to us to have this wonderful moment. You guys are heroes,” Sharon said at the ceremony.

This is Emergency Communications Specialist Julie McKay’s second Phoenix Award in 2022. She was previously recognized for her instrumental role in a cardiac arrest event that occurred March 29, 2022. The event involved an adult female who also recovered from her event neurologically intact.

Aurora Police, Aurora Fire Rescue and Aurora911 are hiring. If you are interested in becoming a first responder, visit to search for open positions. The city of Aurora is offering hiring bonuses and other incentives to qualified applicants.

Phoenix Award recipients in front of a firetruckPhoenix Award statuetteSharon Thompson holds her young son
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