NEW BRITAIN - Firefighters often do their jobs responding to emergencies without expecting much praise. But on Thursday, the city’s fire department and its members will be honored during an awards night.
“All recognition should go to our firefighters, and partnerships here with the community and other organizations,” Chief Raul Ortiz said, noting this is his second year overseeing the annual awards ceremony.
Lt. Nicholas Papa will be receiving the chief’s award this year.
Papa has travelled throughout the country giving seminars and making videos used for firefighting strategy and tactics training, all while affiliating himself with the city and its departments.
“We’re very proud of what he does.” Ortiz said. “There are many intangibles a firefighter brings, and passion is one of them. He definitely brings passion.”
A life saving award will be given to Engine Company 5 members Lt. Michael Archacki and Privates Phillip Tougas and Jose Silva, who responded to a City Avenue residence in May on the report of a 56-year-old female having a seizure.
After finding the woman unresponsive in the bathroom with no pulse, the three performed CPR on her before New Britain EMS crews arrived and transported her to the Hospital of Central Connecticut. She was transferred to Hartford Hospital for a cardiac procedure and then returned home.
“(Performing) CPR doesn’t always end with what you are looking for…but training in proper and timely CPR saved (the woman’s) life,” Ortiz said.
Unit Citation, Class II awards, which are given to a company or an individual who went above and beyond basic job standards, will also be given out to Ladder 2 and Ladder 1’s outside vent team.
Members of Ladder 2 - Lt. Steve Wojtusik, and Privates Jeran Arsenault, Donald Gray and Josh Carrier - helped save two women’s lives during the 180 Allen St. fire in May by carrying them down ladders from their third-floor apartments.
Ladder 1’s outside vent team - of Privates Randall Smith and Piotr Pyzik - helped save a man trapped on his 4th floor porch during a fire on Broad Street in October by lowering him to safety in a ladder bucket.
Community/Citizen awards will be given out to Peter Ceglarz, who gave the department cars and his garage on the weekend to practice extrications. Larami Vereen Elvge and Iwona Raczkowski will also be awarded.
“We’re very grateful to have these relationships in (these) financial times,” Ortiz said.
New Firefighters Donte Esposito, Katrina LaClair, Derek LaMay, Dymetric Maisonet, Shaunna Mango, Myles Manson, Carlos Morales, Miguel Ramos and Assistant Master Mechanic Kyle Huri will be pinned during the ceremony.
Promotions include Paul Miller becoming master mechanic, Michael Berry becoming deputy chief of training, Ryan Novak and Mark O’Conner becoming captains, Keith Bonney, Timothy Cry, Eddie Irizarry, Edgar Montalvo becoming Lieutenants and Jospeh DiCicco becoming fire inspector.
The ceremony will be in the Davidson Torp Theatre at Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley St., and will start at 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.