TRI Staff Receive Awards from VFW

Blountville, TN – Sullivan County Commissioner and VFW member, Sam Jones, presented two awards to Tri-Cities Airport Authority (TCAA) staff today. Public Safety Officer Steve Wade was awarded Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year was awarded to Captain Denton Hall. Both employees of the TCAA Public Safety Department.

Public Safety Officer Steve Wade is a United States Navy Veteran, serving four years. Steve left the Navy as a Petty Officer 2nd class and was

an Aviation Machinist Mate. He also served aboard the USS Ranger CV61 on a West Pacific float. Officer Wade has more than 25 years of experience in law enforcement, with the majority as a Federal Police Officer with the Tennessee Valley Authority. He joined the airport’s Public Safety Department in 2012 and has obtained Emergency Medical Responder, Aircraft Firefighting, Incident Command, Tactical Combat Medicine and Tactical Patrol Officer certifications.

Captain Hall is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Serving four years, he was in the Infantry as a heavy machine gunner and later a machine gun team leader. He has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, as well as 20 years of firefighting experience. Captain Hall began his firefighting career with the Johnson City Department of Public Safety. He was also a volunteer firefighter with the Piney Flats Fire Department for 11 years. From 2004-2005, Captain Hall served as a Combat Firefighter in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this time he earned national certification as a Firefighter II and HAZMAT Operations. Since joining the ranks in the TCAA Public Safety Department, Captain Hall has obtained his Aircraft Firefighting certification. Captain Hall has been instrumental in implementing and engaging the Incident Command System for airport emergencies, and has assisted the FAA in investigations of aircraft crashes on airport property. He has also earned the professional designation of Airport Master Firefighter and completion of Advanced Incident Command School.

From left to right: Gene Cossey, TCAA executive director; Sam Jones, Sullivan County Commissioner and VFW member; Chief Steve Terry, TCAA public safety department; Office Steve Wade, TCAA public safety department, Captain Denton Hall, TCAA public safety department; David Jones, TCAA Deputy Executive Director; and Ken Newton, VFW Post 4933 Commander

“The Airport Authority is pleased that two of our own have been recognized for their contributions to the communities we serve as well as the Airport,“ said Gene Cossey, TCAA Executive Director. “It’s an honor to work alongside these two military veterans who continue to protect and serve.”

Each year, VFW Post 4933 honors a local police officer and a firefighter who have made a significant difference in the lives of community members.


Dean Johnson
VFW Post 4933
(614) 530-1623

Tri-Cities Airport (TRI) is a full-service commercial airport serving Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Western North Carolina, and Eastern Kentucky. TRI offers non-stop flights to four hubs (Atlanta, Charlotte, Orland/Sanford, and St. Pete/Clearwater/Tampa) on Allegiant, American, and Delta. For more information about Tri-Cities Airport, visit