Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Medal of Valor awarded to two Brighton Firefighters

On Friday, April 16, the Greater Brighton Fire Protection District held our Annual Service Awards Banquet. The banquet serves as an opportunity for District members to be recognized for achievements as well as to recognize the achievements of their co-workers over the past year. Many members went above and beyond in 2010 and were recognized with awards of various different levels.

Letters of Appreciation went to several District personnel as well as to their families for helping with various projects. Several members raised money and shaved their heads during the St. Baldrick’s “Shaving the Way” fundraiser for childhood cancer. Members and their families also participated in the annual Help for Homes community project.

Letters of Recognition also went to members who went above and beyond in 2010. Amy Reinhardt and Rita Saunders coordinated a fundraiser to help a family during the holidays. Brian Olivas was recognized for his efforts to keep our Fire District involved in various community events such as the St Baldrick’s Event. John Blunt was recognized for his dedication to training and for making his crews the best they can be. Chris Edwards was recognized for his continued effort and dedication in leading the hazardous materials team. Bill Porterfield was recognized for his involvement in various committees in the District, and for his ability to comfort victims and their family members. Chris Forbes was recognized for his dedication to training and his involvement as an instructor for the District.

Two Company Citations were awarded. A Company Citation is awarded to District personnel who demonstrated meritorious service, collectively, as a company during an emergency call. One Company Citation went to Brad Cogburn, Dave DiLorenzo and Nick DiAnnie for their efforts during a grass fire on August 21, 2010. This incident required a coordinated fire attack as well as patient care. The successful containment of the fire while caring for a patient clearly demonstrates meritorious service by this engine crew.

The second Company Citation was awarded to Chris Forbes, Scott Kinne, Brian Guyer, Tony Spresser, Bill Bennett, Colin Brunt, Brycen Garrison, Mario Molinaro, Jeremy Osgood and Gerard Lutz for their team effort in fire suppression and rescue efforts during an apartment fire on December 15, 2010. The coordinated effort of these crews saved lives, protected fellow firefighters and contained the fire.

Firefighter Aaron Schissler was presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his actions in saving a choking patient. This award is presented to someone whose actions have distinguished them from standard performance expected of the position. During a call for a choking victim, firefighters arrived to find a 250 pound patient on the floor choking. Firefighter Schissler did not hesitate to pick up the victim and perform three abdominal thrusts, clearing the obstruction, and saving the patient.

Lieutenant Todd Godek was also presented with a distinguished service award for his quick and unselfish action, which may have prevented a tragic outcome. While on his way home, he was flagged down by a citizen whose car had spun off the road and was on its side in a canal ditch with water in it. The citizen reported a baby in the vehicle, and Lt. Godek made entry into the water and into the vehicle, rescuing the baby.

Firefighter Steve Choe was awarded Recruit of the Year. This is an award for a District member (career or volunteer) who best exemplifies the conduct required of a firefighter and continually demonstrates readiness, performance and excellence in completing the first year with the District.

Bryan Oplinger received the Volunteer Firefighter of the Year award. This is an award for a District volunteer member who, over the course of the previous year, has continually put forth an effort in the highest degree.

Firefighter Jesse Eversman was awarded Career Firefighter of the Year. This is an award for a District career member who, over the course of the previous year, has continually put forth an effort in the highest degree.

Two Medals of Valor were presented to two extraordinary firefighters. The Medal of Valor is the highest award given by the Fire District. It is designed for personnel who, during an emergency call, demonstrate in great degree personal courage, bravery, and boldness in the performance of their duties, which may have included the possibility of extreme personal risk. Lieutenant Chris Forbes and Firefighter Brian Guyer were each presented with a Medal of Valor for their personal courage and bravery under severe conditions in an effort to save another’s life and for actions that represent the very highest traditions of the fire service. On December 15, 2010 companies were dispatched to a reported structure fire on Bridge Street. Truck 51 was the first fire unit on the scene, and reported heavy fire out the windows and people stranded on the roof.

Lt. Forbes and FF Guyer were helping victims from the porch roof, when they were advised of a party trapped on the second floor. They found a victim at a second floor window and laddered the window to rescue that victim. At that time they were told there was yet another victim on the second floor that was trapped. Lt. Forbes and FF Guyer made entry into the second floor and through intense fire, smoke, and heat conditions located and rescued the trapped victim, who was in critical condition. Because of their bravery, the victim survived and is on the road to recovery.

Finally, several service awards were given to members who have completed more than five years of service with the District, both volunteer and career. Five year service awards were given to Phil Beehler, Dan Biro, Colin Brunt, Nick DiAnnie, Chris Kennison, Justin Lauridson and Chris Woolley. Ten year service awards were given to John Blunt, David DiLorenzo, Frank DiLorenzo, Pasquale DiLorenzo, Chris Edwards, Scott Kinne, John Stevens, and Peter Wray. Fifteen year awards were given to Richard Krengel and Doug Saba. One twenty year award was given to Jeff Jacobucci, and one thirty year award was presented to John Schissler.

Congratulations to all award recipients and thank you for your hard work over the past year!

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