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Business carries traditions of past to serve emergency services community

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By Lyndsey Gilpin

 Long-time Bullitt County residents may remember Emergency Medical Supplies in Shepherdsville, which was run by Bill Martin Sr. for many years before he passed away. However, none remember more clearly than Judy Whittaker, who worked alongside Martin and his family before the business closed. 

Determined to keep Shepherdsville the number one place for emergency supplies, Whittaker bought the store in January and renamed it American Valor Uniforms.

“It serves the county and we do all the police, fire, and EMS in the county and outside the county,” she said. “It’s just something I walked into one day and got in the middle of.”

Whittaker has been in the uniform business for 12 years. She said the store is doing well for its first few months, and she has retained most of the clientele from the days of Emergency Medial Supplies. 

Uniforms for police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and detention centers are made at American Valor. As the only employee, Whittaker does all the preparation and sewing herself for both normal uniforms and special events, and takes pride in the fact her business serves Bullitt County above all else. 

“I do whatever it takes to help the first responders in the community,” she said.  “I try to give back by helping when it’s crusade time and giving donations.” 

Though she wasn’t one of the original founders of Emergency Medical Supplies family business, Whittaker considers herself part of an even larger family: one with police officers and firefighters from all over the state and even other parts of the country. Her 17 month-old grandson visits the store often and she takes loves that the service men and women have taken the time to get to know him.

“It’s good to know they are kid-friendly,” she said. “It’s just me, but they make it a family-style business.”

The general public is welcome to come inside the store, and Whittaker is always promoting sales for boots. Officers or service personnel that may need uniforms can call Whittaker at 543-8936. 

“I want this to grow and be a good business again, like it used to be,” she said. “And maybe it can help provide some jobs down the road.”