On June 15th, the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) recognized several firefighters and police officers for their life-saving actions at two different incidents over the past year. MVFD Chief William Davin presented life safety awards to Lieutenant John Lombardi of the MVFD along with Sergeant Jay Torresso, Officer Jeffrey Loomis, and Officer Amanda Sears of the Monroe Police Department. In April, before fire trucks arrived on scene, all four entered a smoky house fire on Squire Road and pulled an unconscious man out of the home and started to render emergency care. The man suffered a burn and smoke inhalation. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control quickly, limiting damage to the home, and also removed the family dog. A female resident and her children were able to make it out on their own before first responders arrived.
A large group of volunteer firefighters were also presented with a unit citation award for their actions at a challenging motor vehicle extrication and water rescue. In January, rescue personnel were called to Main Street near Knollwood Drive for a two-car accident in which one vehicle was three quarters submerged in the body of water that runs along Main Street, with a person still in the frigid water. The second vehicle involved in the crash was off the road, with the occupant seriously injured and trapped in her car. Stepney, Monroe, and Stevenson firefighters divided their resources and within short order, donning water rescue suits they removed the woman from the water, and performed an extensive extrication to remove the other woman from her wrecked car. Other firefighters performed a time consuming search of the water and woods because there was a report that as the vehicle flipped into the water, another occupant had been ejected; however, that proved to be unfounded.
Ten Monroe firefighters that operated on the scene that evening under the direction of MVFD Deputy Chief Josh Krize and Stepney Fire Chief Mike Klemish were recognized for demonstrating life-saving actions. Receiving the unit citation awards were Lt. John Lombardi and firefighters John Viets, George Lattanzi, Kevin Catalano, Jonathan Zaleta, Dan Syzmanski, Kyle Scully, Adam Chartier, Ryan Anderson, and Sam Zack.
MVFD Chief William Davin, added “This was a very challenging year for us–the hurricane, blizzard, multiple house fires, and some very complicated rescues. No matter how tough the situation, the members of this department continue to rise the challenge. Its reflective of their training, teamwork, and commitment toward keeping members of this community safe.”
Additionally, Davin handed out three awards given each year to those members who go above and beyond. Firefighter Adam Chartier was recognized with the Firefighter of the Year award for his ongoing efforts at emergency calls and his commitment toward training. Firefighter Sam Zack was given the Fireman of the Year award. Zack used his computer skills to redesign the department’s website, and create an extensive facebook page which includes fire safety tips, local events, storm and power outage updates, and other valuable information. In less than a year, over 400 individuals now regularly visit the facebook page. In addition, firefighter Bryan Roberts received the Chief’s Award for exemplary service. According to Davin, Roberts is “always only a phone call away” from doing anything around the station that needs to be done whether it be repairing things or helping teach fire prevention in the schools.