FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield’s Police and Fire Departments took the time to honor their members Tuesday night.
The two held their annual Public Safety Awards Ceremony, handing out commendations to officers and firefighters who went above and beyond the call of duty over the past year.
“Oftentimes they feel forgotten, and they feel as though they don’t matter. I’m here to tell you tonight that they do matter,” Chief Gary MacNamara said. “They matter for all of us. They respond to the needs of this community. They raise their hands to take the oath, and say ‘Sign me up. I will help to make this community safer.’”
The police also invited a special guest from outside their department, Stamford Police Officer and Fairfield resident Troy Strauser. Strauser was seriously injured after a 20-foot fall while chasing a suspect in May. He has since recovered, and walked to the stage with his family to thank the crowd for its support.
“You got to understand how grateful I am, and my family is, for everything this department has done for us,” Strauser said. “And the community — it means so much when I go to a local school, and someone comes up to me and thanks me.”
Civilian Public Safety Awards also went to Chris D’Ambrosio (Doughtnut Inn), the Cingari Family (ShopRite), Larry Roberts (Turnpike Properties), Joseph Palmieri (CT Tank Removal), Hemlock Hardware, and Home Depot for their help during the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Jim Carolan, Vince Giacomazza, John Pierce, Peter Porrazzo, Brian Stanton, and Millie Velasquez also got the honor for their work to help burn victim Justin Hervey, who was injured during an incident at Tunxis Hill Park last month.
The 2012 Fairfield Public Safety Award Winners are:
Exceptional Medical Service Award: Lt. Eric Kalapir; Lt. William Tuttle; Firefighters Scott Iannucci, Brian McHugh, Jeff Janik and Richard Kazzi.
Unit Citation of Valor: Firefighters Jon Cantandella, Robert Dominguez, Ed Riggs and Edward Walsh.
Honorable Service Medal: Asst. Chief Doug Chavanello; Lt. Schulyer Sherwood, Lt. Roger Caisse, Lt. Patrick Barry; Firefighters Robert Smith, Jeff Edmondson, Jon Cantandella, and Tom Janik.
Joseph S. Elias Meritorious Service Award: Lt. Patrick Barry, Lt. William Tuttle; Firefighters Jerry McGuire, Joseph Ranis, Jay Swindon, Andrew Darrow, Frank DeAngelo and Brian Madia.
Exceptional Service Medal: Sgt. Felix Esposito; Det. Bernard Kelly, Det. Peter Koval; Officers William Demostes, Walter Burke, Michael Clark, Benjamin Krygier, Jordan Nadeau, Lisa Burbige and William Koukoulas.
Commendation for Honorable Service: Det. Peterl Koval, Det. Alex Fucci, Det. Ed Nook; Sgt. Hector Irizarry; Officers Kevin Wells, Jennifer Victoria and James Baker; and Marina Guard Frank Magyar.
Unit Citation: Sgt. Tony Granata; Det. Peter Koval, Det. Alex Fucci, Det. Steven Rilling, Det. Fred Caruso; Lt. Michael Gagner; Sgt. Frederick Hine, Sgt. Robert Kalamaras; Det. Peter Bravo, Det. Kerry Dalling, Det. Kevin McKeon, Det. Bernard Kelley, Det. Ed Nook; Officers Gary Wikman, Paul Medvegy, Michael Paris and Benjamin Krygier; Bridgeport Sgt. Jason Amato; Stratford Det. John Therina; Southington Lt. Michael Shanley, and Plainville Sgt. Gary Blake.
Police Chief’s Letter of Recognition: Sgt. Seth Jenkins, Sgt. Edward Greene, Sgt. Edward Kovac; Det. Jason Takacs, Det. Bernard Kelley, Det. Kevin McKeon, Det. Kerry Dalling, Det. Peter Bravo, Det. Alex Fucci, Det. Beth Irizarry, Det. Fred Caruso; Officers Robert Chaisson, James Bodnar, Gary Wikman, Jeffrey Wikman, James Baker, Jeremy Zdru, Franck DeAngelis, Frank DiMarco, Evan Kaesmann, Michael Mazzocchi, Scott Sudora, Charles Ricco, Mark Letsch, Matthew Reindeau, Jordan Nadeau, Edward Terifay, Daniel Victoria, Anthony Vaspasiano, Sean Fenton, and Michael Komm; and Telecommunicators Martha Kuckzo, Jennifer DiJoseph, Susana De Moura, and Russell Atkins.