2022 Joshua M. Freeman Valor Award Winner Announced

three people standing next to each other holding an award

On Friday, May 6, 2022, the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce and Carl M. Freeman Companies recognized the outstanding achievements and service of police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical service units from Southern Sussex County at the 2022 Joshua M. Freeman Valor Awards Luncheon.  Hosted at the Den at Bear Trap Dunes, the event honored service men and women from across Southern Delaware. Fourteen nominees were chosen by their superiors or units from eleven departments, for their work and achievements throughout the past year.

The 2022 overall recipient was Maria Berdan from Sussex County EMS, whose actions made an impact for their agency, this community, and the entire state of Delaware.

Director Robert Murray of Sussex County Emergency Medical Services nominated Maria for the award, stating, “Maria Berdan demonstrates valor every day she comes to work and does so with an inspiring positive attitude where failure or quitting is not an option. Maria wants her peers and colleagues to know that despite the most terrifying diagnosis, they can choose to fight, use every resource, and expend all their energy to win the battle, and to simply never quit. All Sussex County EMS employees are inspired by Maria and appreciate her willingness to share her story.

The luncheon, emceed by Mike Bradley from WGMD Radio, was well attended by local service men and women, government officials, community members, and chamber members. Presented by The Carl M. Freeman Companies and the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, the Joshua M. Freeman Valor Award luncheon was supported by Banks Wines & Spirits, Coastal Point, Delmarva Power, Mountaire Farms, Taylor Bank, Wilgus Associates, Anne Powell Coldwell Banker Realty, Bethany Beach Books & The Book Drop, Beebe Healthcare, Creative Concepts, Millville Boardwalk, and PNC Bank.

For photos from the event, visit www.thequietresorts.com, or watch the event on the Bethany – Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce’s Facebook Page to hear all the impactful stories from each nominee.