City of Poughkeepsie Firefighters were honored in an annual awards ceremony on Thursday at the department's headquarters on Main Street in Poughkeepsie.

City Mayor Rob Rolison told the capacity crowd that today's honorees are very humble and they don't bask i receiving accolades. According to the mayor, when the firefighters are summoned to an emergency, they respond with the mindset of "get in, get out, get home."

Fire Chief Mark Johnson presented the awards with the assistance of Deputy Chief Joe Franco and Rolison. According to the chief, the awards not only recognize the actions of his firefighters but also gives the community to get a glimpse of the work tht is done by the department.

A fire that took place in April of this year on Stout Court resulted in Life-Saving" awards being presented to firefighters Mike Camuto, Tim Rose, and Tim Ryan along with a Unit Citation for the firefighters of Group 4 that were working that day.

The first arriving units encountered heavy smoke conditions on the first floor and confirmed an active fire in apartment "A". Lieutenant Phillips ordered firefighters Camuto and Rose to perform a primary search on the second floor above the fire whie Lieutenant (now Deputy Chief) Joe Franco worked with crews from Engine 1 and Ladder 1 to attack the fire on the first floor. Crews from Engine 2 and Tower Ladder 2 were placing ladders around the building to provide a secondary egress route for those inside when firefighter Cronk from Tower Ladder 2 transmitted that there were possible victims in the Eastside apartment and he was apptempting to gain access through a window to get to them.

Firefighters Camuto and Rose entered apartment "C" and located a male in the rear bedroom who as in extreme respiratory distress and unable to move on his own. While they were removing the victim they heard a second victim gasping for air and discovered a female victm in an adjacent bed who was also in respiratory distress. Firefighter Ryan entered the room to assist and radioed to all units that the victims were being brought down the stairs. Firefighters Meyerson, Sekul, and Valentine helped get the two victims down the stairs, out the door, and to the medics from Mobile Life who then transported both patients to Vassar Hospital.

According to Chief Johnson "if not for the actions of these firefighters and the team effort of all the members of Group 4, the lifesaving actions could not haver been performed safely and efficiently."

In addition to the Life-Saving" award presented to the three firefighters, The Unit Citation was presented to recently retired Captain Mike Brophy who recently retired, firefighter Brad Valentine, recently promoted to Lieutenant, and firefighters Phil Rugar, John Cronk, Chris Sekul, Steve Volk, Shawn Hicks, Mark Meyerson, and Nick Bucher.

Another fire that resulted in the Lief-Saving award being presented occured in June of 2017. A report of a fire at 99 Hooker Avenue, a 2 1/2 story building with several small apartments brought an immediate response from Engine 3 which is stationed just up the street. Upon arrival firefighters were advised that there were still occupants in the building.

Lieutenant, now Captain Steve Bauer entered the building with firefighter Paul Bucher and proceeded to the second floor to begin searching while firefighters Brian Ineson and Eric Kelly were stretching a hose line toward the seat of the fire while simultaneously protecting the stairwell.

Bauer and Bucher located ther room where the fire had originated. While waiting for the hose lineBauer heard a faint vioce calling for help in the room that was engulfed in flames. Without waiting for the protection of the hose Bauer entered the room, and, guided by the faint calls, located the victim and removed her from the room and turned her over to firefighter Andy Clegg. Bauer suffered burns as a result of his efforts but continued on.

At the same time, firefighters Flynn and Brugger were setting up ladders when Flynn noticed movement near a second floor window. Flynn rushed up thr fire escape and entered the apartment where he last saw movement and recovered a trapped resident. Flynn and Brucher were on the second floor assisted in removing the victim from the building.

Captain Steve Sutka recommended that the Medal of Honor be awarded to Captain Steve Bauer and Chief Johnson agreed. In presenting the prestigious award, Johnson praised Bauer for rescuing a woman from a burning building without the benefit of a hose line, in extreme heat and fire conditions , with complete disregard for his personal safety. Firefighters Paul Bucher and Tim Flynn, who was also ijured that day were presented with the Life-Saving awardfor their actions that day.

Chief Johnson concluded the ceremony by recognizing all of the firefightersof Group 2 that were working that day. The Unit citation was presented to Captain Steve Sutka and firefighters Clegg, Stroka, Ineson, Anderson, Kelly, Brugger, Mauro and McNiff.

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