April 24. 2014 8:59PM

Ceremony honors NH first responders

New Hampshire Union Leader

Bradford police Det. Sgt. Edward Shaughnessy, who was awarded the Police Certificate of Recognition, spends quality time with his daughter Alexis, 4, during the annual NH Police, Fire and EMS Foundation banquet held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Wednesday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — After saving the life of a 6-month-old boy last month, Bradford police Det. Sgt. Edward Shaughnessy said he couldn't help thinking about his own child.

"All I could think about going there was if it were my kid, I'd want someone getting there as quick as they could," said Shaughnessy, who received a certificate of recognition Wednesday night from the New Hampshire Police, Fire and EMS Foundation. "It was a great feeling when the baby started crying."

Shaughnessy was one of several first responders given awards during the ceremony at the Radisson Hotel, which featured a keynote address from U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH.

"When the rest of us are blessed to be home with our families on holidays, it's really our police, fire and emergency responders that are going out and dealing with situations that many of us could never imagine," Ayotte said.

While in Manchester on Wednesday, Ayotte held a roundtable discussion with about 20 law enforcement and drug treatment officials about what she said was a growing "heroin epidemic" in the state. She said she plans to look into potential federal grant money and legislation for enforcement, education and treatment programs.

"We've seen a dramatic increase in drug deaths because of heroin," she said in an interview after her speech. "It's inexpensive. People are getting addicted to prescription drugs and turning to heroin. This is an epidemic that's not impacting one socio-economic background. It's impacting people from all walks of life."

At Wednesday night's event, Lt. Brad Gould of the Dover Police Department said he was flattered that his department nominated him for the Police Officer of the Year award he received.

Gould was involved in the Sept. 30, 2013, standoff with Frank Thompson of Dover, who hit a woman with a hammer, shot at police and later killed himself. One of Thompson's shots pierced Gould's pant leg.

"I think it's important for any officer who goes through something like that to recognize the importance of it in your life, but not to allow it to hold you back," he said. "I haven't been dwelling on it by any stretch."

Other awards were presented to Portsmouth firefighter Russell Osgood, Meredith paramedic John Burdette, Merrimack police officer Michael Murray, state Fire Marshal's Office Capt. Ronald Anstey Jr., Washington Fire Chief Robert Wright, retired state police Maj. Nicholas Halias, Allenstown police officer Jeffrey King, state police Lt. Gregory Ferry and Troopers Shane Larkin and William Bright and Rochester police Lt. Anthony Bossi and Sgt. Jeremy Aucoin.