DALLAS - The fourth annual Servpro First Responder Bowl is set for Tuesday, Dec. 28, at SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
The Air Force Falcons will face off against the Louisville Cardinals. Kickoff is set for 2:15 p.m.
Servpro hosts this event each year to recognize the service and sacrifice of thousands of first responders nationwide.
"This game shines a spotlight on hometown heroes across the country," said Carl Kelley, a disaster restoration specialist with Servpro of Muskogee/McIntosh counties and Tahlequah. "We are proud to be part of a company that honors all first responders for willingly putting the welfare of others ahead of their own personal safety."
Each Servpro franchise is an integral part of its local community, so Servpro asked franchisees nationwide to submit the name of a first responder in their hometown to be considered for special recognition at the game. This year, Servpro teammates selected Sgt. Steven Austin of the Montgomery County (Maryland) Sheriff's Office.
While Austin and his K-9 partner, Harley, were engaged with other detectives in the attempted arrest of a suspected homicide subject, the subject fired his weapon.
The bullet struck a nearby detective in the chest, exiting out his back.
Austin secured Harley and responded to his fallen comrade immediately.
He placed his open palms over the wounds and called for a chest seal, a specialized first aid item that prevents air from entering the lungs through a hole in the chest.
Austin and an assisting officer used the chest seals to cover both penetrating wounds and turned the injured officer over to EMS staff for transport to a local trauma hospital via helicopter.
After multiple surgeries, the wounded detective fully recovered and returned to active duty a few months later.
For his dedication and service, Austin will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the game, national recognition during the game, and a donation in his honor to the Warrior Canine Connection.
This year's game will also feature multiple activities before and during the game to bring attention and support to Servpro's new partners at the First Responders Children's Foundation.
This is a nonprofit organization that provides financial support to the children and families of first responders killed or injured in the line of duty.
Tickets for the Servpro First Responder Bowl are available now at https://www.firstresponderbowl.com/ticket-op. First responders are eligible for up to four complimentary tickets to the game.