Matt Dawson recognized as Unsung Hero by Lubbock first responders

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 9:59 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Prosperity Bank and the Rotary Club of Metropolitan Lubbock hosted their 19th annual unsung heroes event on Thursday.

Five first responders received the award, all nominated by the peers they served with.

“The unsung heroes are the tip of the sword. The tip of an arrow,” Matt Dawson, award recipient and retired firefighter, said.

An unsung hero. A savior who is not always recognized.

It’s a title that could be given to many first responders, but on Thursday night five would receive the honor.

Officer Jeffrey Buschman, paramedic Arron Odom, state trooper Drew Woodard, sheriff’s deputy Eddie Burton, and Lubbock firefighter Matt Dawson.

“For them to nominate me for Unsung Hero and to actually receive it means a lot,” Dawson said. “I can’t thank them enough. So if you guys are out there, thanks.”

Dawson served more than seven years with Lubbock Fire Rescue. He says there is one question he was asked that he never forgot.

“What are you going to do for the fire department? What’s going to be your legacy or what you’re known for,” Dawson said. “I always wondered, what can I do to be known for what I did.”

Most in the crowd agree that Dawson will be known for his public service. When a call for help came out, Dawson was one of the people who answered.

Dawson’s retirement came after a crash in January 2020 that seriously injured him, a crash that killed Lubbock Police Officer Nicholas Reyna and Fire Lieutenant Eric Hill.

The accident led to the creation of the 5-5-5 Safety Initiative. The initiative helps raise awareness and remind drivers to be cautious as first responders work. It’s just one more way Dawson is still serving his community.

Since his accident, and through his recovery, his mantra has been “can’t stop, won’t stop,” and he’s lived up to that saying

Matt Dawson, unseen and unsung, was recognized as a hero.

“It’s just a huge honor and a huge blessing,” Dawson said. “So, I appreciate y’all.”

Although Dawson has retired from active service with LFR, he continues to serve the City of Lubbock through the department’s public safety education program.

He says if there is a class to teach he’s more than ready to teach it.

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