NORWICH — The Norwich Fire Department held its annual dinner and awards ceremony Saturday evening, April 29, at the Norwich VFW Post 2782. The banquet honored those firefighters and other department members who distinguished themselves in 2022.
Over 100 members and guests attended the formal dinner, including fire chiefs from neighboring departments. Other officials attending included City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver, Chenango County Fire Coordinator Matt Beckwith, Senator Peter Oberacker, and Assemblyman Joseph Angelino. Both state legislators are volunteer members for their hometown fire departments.
The Norwich Fire Department is a combination department which is staffed by full-time, on-duty career and volunteer firefighters.
"Having paid staff on duty 24/7 improves the response times and potential outcome for most incidents. The department is backed up by several dedicated volunteers. This alone improves our quality of life for the Norwich community and the surrounding areas in which we cover or render mutual aid," said City of Norwich Fire Department Chief Jan Papelino.
The Norwich Fire Department is comprised of four companies: the Alert Hose Co. No. 1, Maydole Hose Co. No. 2, and Ontario Hose Co. No. 3, along with a single truck company, the George Rider Hook and Ladder Co. The department also has several dedicated members of the department's auxiliary.
Papelino oversaw the presentation of awards and recognitions. Those receiving awards included:
Green Cross Life Saving Award, presented to firefighters Cody Beckwith, Matthew Parrella, and Robert Boellmann for their actions during a Route 12 head-on collision in August of 2022.
Determination Award: FF/EMT Blake Parry
EMS Provider of the Year: FF/EMT Jason Pierce
Pinnacle of Public Service: Captain Gregory Franklin
Most Alarms and Most Training Hours: Lieutenant Gideon Schena
Lifetime Achievement in the Fire Service Award was presented to members for their many years of dedications, commitment, and service volunteering with the fire service. Recipients included Captain John Fowlston, Firefighter Richard Burton, and Assistant Chief Dale Smith.
A host of other firefighters and auxiliary members also received recognition for years of service, along with seven of the department's volunteer members receiving the recognition for exceeding 100-plus hours of training during the year of 2022.
"It was my honor to help recognize this year's deserving award winners. I appreciate the dedication and commitment of all of the Norwich Fire Department. Spending time talking to the men and women, it si clear how devoted they are to their profession and the community," said Senator Peter Oberacker.
-Information provided by the NFD