LOXLEY, Ala. (WKRG) — In the small town of Loxley, there’s a hidden gem. One that the close-knit community loves. 

He’s what I like to call the ultimate first responder. Why? Well because he doesn’t just go above the call of duty once, but twice — working for both Loxley Fire and Police.

His name is Raymond Lovell but many people know him as Tony. With the help from folks in the community, WKRG News 5 took a trip to surprise him.

It was pretty hard to pull off the surprise because of his busy schedule. It’s not easy being the Chief of a volunteer fire department, a lieutenant with the police department, president of the Baldwin County Fire Chiefs Association and a member of the board of directors of Baldwin County 911, all while being a family man.

Are you surprised? How are you feeling right now?

“A little shocked,” said Lovell.

Did you see this coming?

“Not at all,” he replied.

The nomination we received lays out the kind of person Chief Lovell is. In part, it reads:

“Tony is a mentor to countless individuals in the county and does everything he can to help better the community.”

“If you need something done Tony is the man to call.”

The Mayor of Loxley, Richard Teal, couldn’t agree more.

“It couldn’t be a more well-deserved person to receive this honor and it’s a great honor for the city,” said Mayor Lovell. “He represents the city great and he has always answered the call of duty and we really appreciate Tony.”

One of the sponsors behind our Smiles Behind the Shield Award, Columbia Southern University, is celebrating its 30-year anniversary. Without them, WKRG would not have the opportunity to recognize the amazing first responders along the Gulf Coast.

During the presentation for Chief Lovell, CSU shared what being a part of this project means to them.

“CSU is rooted in public safety education so we’re excited to participate in Smiles Behind the Shield,” said Kay Jenkins. “We are honored to be a part of this, especially such a special year like this one for us.”

Chief Lovell serves his community in and out of both of his uniforms. That’s why WKRG presented him with our Smiles Behind the Shield Award.