Firefighters and emergency medical technicians from several towns received honors from the and elected officials on Sunday.
The room gave a standing ovation to John Fratus, who received both the Paramedic of the Year award for his work with and the Firefighter of the Year award from the Oswegatchie Fire Company No. 4 of Waterford. Fratus has been a firefighter with this company since 1961.
“Your enthusiasm and your dedication to helping others is exceeded only by your dedication to your family,” said Mark Schenking, chief of the Oswegatchie Fire Company.
“I truly enjoy going out and helping to take care of people…I fully expect to be back on the road in the near future,” said Fratus.
The honored firefighter and EMT Todd Patton, who has been with the department for 20 years.
“During those 20 years, he’s been involved in some of the most horrendous events that have happened in the city,” said Chief Ron Samul. “He’s personally made rescues and saves.”
Mayor Daryl Finizio made an introductory speech which was briefly interrupted by a passing fire engine.
“Thank you for all the amazing work you do, and apparently still do now,” he joked.
Mayor Ron McDaniel of Montville recognized Richard Dole, a firefighter with the Montville Fire Department. Dole was praised for being the longest career firefighter still on the department and for his efforts during Tropical Storm Irene.
“These men and women give an awful lot, and this is a very small thing we can do to say thank you,” said McDaniel.
Gottfried Beisel, a fire police and EMT with the Montville Fire Department, also received recognition.
“This is not just mine,” said Beisel after receiving his award. “This goes for the whole crew, because they are all part of it.”
The event included a moment of silence for Benjamin Demond, a 33-year-old Norwich firefighter killed Friday in a car accident on Route 395 in Montville.
Receiving honors this year were:
- Todd Patton, firefighter/EMT with the New London Fire Department
- John Fratus, paramedic with Lawrence & Memorial Hospital and the firefighter with Oswegatchie Fire Company No. 4 of Waterford
- Paul Masterson Jr., firefighter/EMT with the Jordan Fire Company No. 1 of Waterford
- Joshua Carson, firefighter with the Quaker Hill Fire Company No. 2 of Waterford
- Mark Zanghetti, firefighter/EMT with the Goshen Fire Company No. 3 of Waterford
- Andrew Edmonds, firefighter/EMT with the Cohanzie Fire Company No. 5 of Waterford
- Richard Dole, firefighter with the Montville Fire Department
- Gottfried Beisel, fire police/EMT with the Montville Fire Department
- Carl Sposato, firefighter/EMT with the Mohegan Tribal Fire Department
- Alison Hoffner, firefighter/EMT with the Niantic Fire Department
- Bert Davis, firefighter/EMT with the Chesterfield Fire Department
- Ed Reynolds, firefighter with the Oakdale Fire Department