Four of the eight were added posthumously. Gulf Coast State College President Dr. John Holdnak said that the inductees were well respected in their fields.
“They may have had a long and distinguished career,” Holdnak said. Some of them may have been killed in the line of duty. But they did it right, they did what it took to be exceptional in their field. And that makes them a great role model for our students.”
Inductees like former Panama City Beach Fire Rescue Fire Chief John Daly, the award is something his family can see in the future.
“Being selected really means a lot,” Daly said. “You know I mean it’s something that’s going to be here perpetually for my children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren to be able to see.”
Many of those honored were serving the Panhandle during some of the worse events in recent history, like Hurricane Michael and the BP oil spill.
“Everybody’s paid such a price through these events,” inductee Mark Bowen, retired Chief of Bay County Emergency Services said. “From the oil spill to the hurricane, and so many things in between.”
However, he was thankful for the people throughout the community that supported him throughout his career.
“All I can think about is all the people in Bay County and at Gulf Coast State College who have supported me,” Bowen said. “Anything that I was able to accomplish to get my picture on that wall, so many people have a part in that.”