WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

WBAB’s Joe Rock will be recognizing Long Island First Responders every Friday. 

We’re asking YOU to nominate a First Responder and give us the opportunity to shine a light on them and the good work that they do.

 

First Responder Friday is brought to you by Island Federal Credit Union.

Thanks to those serving Long Island and to their families for the sacrifices they make.

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John Jex

John Jex

Honoree for November 8th, 2019

Suffolk County First Precinct Police Officer John Jex was recognized by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart during a press conference on October 30th for defusing a situation with a person in crisis utilizing skills obtained during a recently completed Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training program.

The CIT training program has become a nationally recognized model for safely and effectively assisting people with mental and substance use disorders. CIT training consists of members of law enforcement, mental health providers and advocates, and emergency services personnel who provide officers with knowledge, skills and support necessary to de-escalate crisis situations and then divert individuals suffering from mental illness from the criminal justice system when appropriate.

Officer John Jex responded to Federation of Organizations Administration Office in West Babylon, a multi-service social service agency, after one of their clients, who was off medication and intoxicated, was yelling and punching the security glass during a dispute. Officer Jex put his five-day CIT training to use and ensured the staff, responding officers and the individual remained safe. 

 

John, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Francis McKay

Francis McKay

Honoree for November 1st, 2019

Suffolk County Police Officer Francis McKay, on the day of his two-year anniversary with the SCPD First Precinct, rescued a disabled North Babylon man from his burning home. Officer McKay was at a nearby scene when he heard the 911 call of a house fire on Woods Road in North Babylon at approximately 3:10 p.m. When Officer McKay arrived on scene, Suffolk County crossing guard Sharon Doogan flagged him down and told him there was a man in a wheelchair on the second floor of the home amidst smoke and flames.

Officer McKay entered the home and saw Michael Goldstein at the top of the stairs unable to get down by himself. Two good Samaritans were attempting to help him down when Officer McKay grabbed Goldstein and brought him down the stairs. Officer McKay then put Goldstein in a wheelchair and escorted him safely out of the residence. Doogan, who entered the home prior, was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene. Goldstein, his wife Lily, Officer McKay, and the two good Samaritans were not injured. 

 

Francis, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Caleb Giordano

Caleb Giordano

Honoree for October 25th, 2019

Caleb was nominated by his friend, Anthony, who said, “As a volunteer EMT and firefighter Caleb has gone above and beyond the call of action. Caleb is faced with a difficulty many of us are not, he has one leg. As a fellow First Responder and his best friend, I believe he deserves a shout out on your show due to the things he’s endured in life and how he still pursues to help others in their time of need, while facing a challenge of his own”.

Caleb, thanks for all you do for the community! 

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Harry Parrish

Harry Parrish

Honoree for October 18th, 2019

Harry was nominated by his friend, Lisa, who said, “Harry is a caring and giving person who does so much for so many and never even mentions all the good things he does. A few years back when my family was going through tough times he arranged for a visit from "santa" with gifts for my boys who otherwise would have had a bleak holiday. He also pulled strings and moved mountains to get a dunk tank filled for my son who has Autism for his "gradulation" party. He has saved countless lives and helped so many more. Harry is an Ex Captain in the Selden Fd”.

Harry, thanks for all you do for the community! As a small way of saying thanks, you’ll receive a 4 Pack of Passes for HersheyPark In The Dark.

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Gina Hagemeyer

Gina Hagemeyer

Honoree for October 11th, 2019

Gina was nominated by her friend, Gino, who said, “This woman gives back to the community as much as possible. Volunteers at 3 different ambulances, North Babylon, Bayshore, Brentwood. Takes on any issues, and still as a single mom raising three children, which also had daughter and future husband both volunteer at Brentwood ambulance. Over 10 years of dedicated service”.

Gina, thanks for all you do for the community! As a small way of saying thanks, you’ll receive a 4 Pack of Passes for HersheyPark In The Dark.

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Christian Vidal

Christian Vidal

Honoree for October 4th, 2019

Suffolk County Police Officer Christian Vidal, who was injured in an on-duty motor vehicle crash, was a member of NYPD and in the U.S. Armed Forces, having served three tours in Iraq, prior to joining SCPD. He is currently in the reserves. Officer Vidal was driving northbound on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore when a southbound vehicle veered into the northbound lanes and struck the officer’s marked police vehicle head-on on September 1. The driver, who was intoxicated, was killed. Officer Vidal was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital with a pelvic fracture and a hip dislocation. He also suffered a ruptured aorta. Officer Vidal developed Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) due to trauma and was on life support for a prolonged period in an extremely critical condition. 

Officer Vidal has been released from the hospital and transported to a rehabilitation facility. We wish him well.

Christian, thanks for all you do for the community!

(Pictured L to R: Lt. William Kearns, Ff. Rory Allen, Ff. Mike Krochak, Marine Engineer Brad Muller, Pilot Robert Senatore)
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Rory Allen

(Pictured L to R: Lt. William Kearns, Ff. Rory Allen, Ff. Mike Krochak, Marine Engineer Brad Muller, Pilot Robert Senatore)

Rory Allen

Honoree for September 27th, 2019

Rory was nominated by his brother, Dermot, who said, “Rory works for the FDNY on Fireboat Marine 6. He recently rescued a guy in the East River. (See video below) He is the hardest working guy I know. Always concerned about others. Although his schedule is crazy busy he always finds time to help my sister care for our aging parents. He is a man among men and has a heart of gold. He is my hero everyday”. Rory wanted the whole Marine 6 Unit to be recognized.

Rory, thanks for all you do for the community! 

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Frank Libretto

Frank Libretto

Honoree for September 20th, 2019

Frank was nominated by his sister, Jolene, who said, “My brother deserves to honored because a stroke caused him to leave the NYPD after 26 years as Sergeant Detective Squad Commander, a job he took pride in. Now he volunteers his time as an Emergency Medical Technician for the Wantagh Fire Dept. and operates the NYS Highway Emergency Local Patrol Truck each afternoon to help stranded motorist. As a single mother to a 3 year old boy, he's my "first responder" when I need him to pick up my son from preschool and overall serves as a strong male role model to his nephew”.

Frank, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Jason Schwarz

Jason Schwartz

Honoree for September 13th, 2019

Jason was nominated by past honoree, Joseph Collora, who said, “Jason became very sick while in the job with cancer. He still found a way to cope with it while still working. He overcame his cancer and is still an active NYPD Detective. Jason worked in the 77th Precinct assigned to the anti crime team where he removed numbers of illegal guns off the streets of NYC. Jason also solved several murder cases as a Detective along with solving over 100 robbery cases. As a former Friday First Responder I believe, he deserves to be a Friday First Responder”.

Jason, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Will McGuire

Will McGuire

Honoree for September 6th, 2019

Will was nominated by his friend, Katie, who said, “William McGuire is a native of Long Island and has been a Volunteer Firefighter in the Mineola Fire Department for 27 years. He started The Global Foundation for First Responders in 2015 after witnessing the ever-increasing needs of families of first responders first hand. The foundation was formed and began raising money to support families of first responders who lost their lives saving others in the line of duty. It became his passion to give back to all that serve leading to the development of the Foundation and its mission. Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $400,000.00 to help serve the first responder community. McGuire is also the President and CEO of Global Elite Group, an international security company headquartered in Garden City, serving the needs of the aviation safety industry, event management and property security for companies worldwide”.

Will, thanks for all you do for the community!

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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Jimmy Hogan

Honoree for August 30th, 2019

Jimmy was nominated by his friend, Bryan, who said, “Jimmy Hogan was captain of Engine Company 1 for the South Farmingdale Fire Dept for many years. He also served as First Deputy Chief of the department. He has trained and mentored many junior fire fighters to include one who went on to join the FDNY. He is a valuable asset to this department and the community he serves. Today, we salute you Ex Captain Jimmy Hogan”.

Jimmy, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Allison DesJardin

Allison DesJardin

Honoree for August 23rd, 2019

Allison was nominated by her friend, Joe, who said, “Allison is a member of Lindenhurst Breslau Engine Company as well as a full time EMT, all while attending Stony Brook University to obtain her nursing degree. Allison is one of the few women to ever be in Breslau engine company since their opening in 1877. She is dedicated to being a First Responder and helping people in all aspects of her life. She is hardworking and devoted to all that she does. As soon as she gets a call, she is ready to go and ready to help. She deserves recognition for all her hard work and to making the world a better place. Thank you for all the late nights and countless hours of dedication”.

Allison, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Peter Russo

Peter Russo

Honoree for August 16th, 2019

Peter was nominated by his wife, Sixta, who said, “My husband is a 16 year veteran with the NYPD. He’s been honored several times throughout his career and as of late the awarded the American Legion Award for bravery and saving two lives. He’s a dedicated cop, an amazing husband, a great dad. He deserves your recognition because he is selfless and have dedicated his life to serve the community and protect the city. His bravery is unparalleled. On Dec 20, 2014, my husband was the first officer on the scene to respond to the shooting of Officer Ramos and Officer Liu who were shot dead by an assailant while sitting in their car. He provided first aid to Officer Ramos who later died in his arms. He has witnessed many tragedies, saved many lives and stopped many crimes. Proud to call him my husband, my best friend and the father of my son. Pete is also a NYPD Field Training Officer who mentors new recruits and trains them on penal law, community policing, tactics, as well procedures and how to act in a professional manner. On numerous evaluations, Peter has been referred to as the go to guy. This is to make sure everything goes right, handled professionally, and the situation is handled properly.

This is why I feel my husband Peter deserves this honor”.

Peter, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Skylar Ramoska

Skylar Ramoska

Honoree for August 9th, 2019

Skylar was nominated by her friend, Kasey, who said, “Skylar is outstanding. She is a volunteer EMT for Medford, a working EMT for both Ronkonkoma FD and EAS, and works in a medical office. Skylar is the first person to jump in to action when someone is in need. And she does it all without asking for anything in return. As an EMT myself I know how hard this field could be and I know she is going to go the distance!”

Skylar, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Connor McDowell

Connor McDowell

Honoree for August 2nd, 2019

Connor of the Wyandanch Volunteer Fire Company was nominated by his girlfriend, Sammy, who said, “Connor is so dedicated to be a firefighter. Whenever he hears his pager go off he’s always ready to go. He helps saves lives, and protect the community. He's working towards his career to be a NYC fireman. Fighting fires is his passion. He's been doing this for quite a few years. I'm very proud to be a girlfriend of an amazing firefighter risking his life to help others”.

Connor, thanks for all you do for the community!

STEVE GRAVANO
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Officer Bell

STEVE GRAVANO

Officer Kevin Bell

Honoree for July 26th, 2019

At the Suffolk County Legislature’s July 16th General Meeting, Legislators Sam Gonzalez (D-Brentwood) and Susan A. Berland (D-Dix Hills) presented a proclamation to Suffolk County Police Officer Kevin Bell of the 3rd Precinct in recognition of his heroism in the line of duty. 

 

On June 25, 2019, Officer Bell was dispatched to an emergency call for an adult male who had been hit by a machine inside a warehouse in Brentwood. When he arrived on the scene, Officer Bell found the victim laying on the floor with an injury to his upper leg and suffering from a significant amount of blood loss. Officer Bell retrieved his department-issued tourniquet and applied it to the upper portion of the victim’s right thigh. Due to Officer Bell’s rapid response, recognition of the victim’s injury and the immediate and appropriate medical attention, the victim is expected to make a full recovery.

 

“Officer Bell’s immediate action demonstrates that he is well trained and possesses the confidence to act decisively in an emergency. Suffolk County is very fortunate to have Police Officers like Kevin Bell serving the community,” said Legislator Gonzalez. 

 

Legislator Susan A. Berland said: “Police Officer Kevin Bell’s quick response and lifesaving actions are the epitome of what our Police Department provides for Suffolk County. I was proud to honor his heroism and thank him for his dedicated service to our community.”

Officer Bell, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Mark Janovsky

Mark Janovsky

Honoree for July 19th, 2019

Mark was nominated by his brother, Charles, who said, “Mark has been in the fire department since a teenager in high school, held every office right up to be the chief several times. Was at ground zero to help with his department. He teaches and trains firefighters and has been an example to civic duty. Saved lives and is modest about his accomplishments. As his brother I am proud of him for all he has done for the community and what he will yet accomplish”.

Mark, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Ryan Harrelson

Ryan Harrelson

Honoree for July 12th, 2019

Ryan was nominated by his friend, Ally, who said, “Ryan is a dedication member of the Hauppauge FD. No matter what time it is, he springs to action for help anyone in need. From saving lives to saving 27 dachshund, Ryan is a true definition of a hero. Hauppauge FD is so lucky to have Ryan with them”.

Ryan, thanks for all you do for the community!

Samantha Eisner
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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Samantha Eisner

Samantha Eisner

Honoree for July 5th, 2019

Samantha was nominated by her mother, Maria, who said, “I would love to recognize my daughter, Sam. She's a beautiful young woman who is going to school full time for her B.S. degree, working full time as an EMT and volunteers for Sayville Community Ambulance every week. I've never seen her so dedicated. Being in the medical field, I see how one single patient can change your life. Samantha has experienced both sides of the spectrum and it has made her a better person/EMT for it. She wants to further her education and has been accepted into the paramedic program and will be starting in the fall. Saying we're proud of her is an definitely an understatement”.

Samantha, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Marc Fiderer

Marc Fiderer

Honoree for June 28th, 2019

Marc was nominated by his wife, Anna, who said, “My husband is an amazing man. He works full time and still finds time to volunteer at the Bellmore Fire Dept. He's a volunteer firefighter and EMT. When I met him 12 years ago that's what truly made me fall in love with him. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need. He truly blows me away everyday. He's an amazing husband and father as well. After working all day he still finds time to help when needed and never complains. No matter the time of night. He is one of the most giving people I know and anyone who knows him would agree and we are all truly blessed to have him”.

Marc, thanks for all you do for the community!

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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Officer Brian Christopher

Honoree for June 21st, 2019

Officer Brian Christopher received the Exceptional Police Service Award for his actions that likely saved the life of Suzette Lamonica, the woman whose arm was severed after a Humvee rolled down a hill during an event in Farmingville in 2017. Christopher, who was off duty at the time, rushed to her aid and used his belt as a tourniquet to stop the bleeding.

Brian, thanks for all you do for the community!

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James Galia

James Galia

Honoree for June 14th, 2019

James was nominated by his friend, Jennifer, who said, “Assistant Chief James Galia has dedicated his life to saving others. He has been a volunteer with the Lakeview Fire Department for 21 years and is a career FDNY Fire Dispatcher. He is a dedicated husband and father to 2 children, and a valued friend to all. Jimmy always makes time to help the other members of the department, he is always assisting others with training and sharing his knowledge of the fire service. Jimmy is one of the most dedicated First Responders I know, I could not think of a person more deserving of this honor”.

James, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Detective Sergeant James Cerone

Detective Sergeant James Cerone

Honoree for June 7th, 2019

Detective Sergeant James Cerone of the Identification Section, who joined the Suffolk County Police Department in 2000, received the Police Commissioner’s Extraordinary Service Award. Cerone was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and the tumor was removed but the cancer returned last year. Cerone continues to be dedicated to his work and be an instrumental member of the department and his command. Cerone’s determination, work ethic and positive attitude is an inspiration to others.

Thanks for all you do for the community!

Brendon Patton
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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Brendon Patton

Brendon Patton

Honoree for May 31st, 2019

Brendon was nominated by his friend, Ray Sellitti, who said, “Brendon is a federal firefighter and former volunteer firefighter with Islip and West Islip. He is also a Marine veteran.Brendon was in a major motorcycle accident causing brain injury at the end of January and is still on the road to recovery.” Find out about a benefit happening for Brendon Sunday June 2nd here.

Brendon, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Ethan Irwin

Ethan Irwin

Honoree for May 24th, 2019

Ethan was nominated by his friend, Robert, who said, “Ethan is a Marine vet who is now an attorney that spends his free time as a volunteer EMT with Wantagh Levittown Volunteer Ambulance Corps”. 

Ethan, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Michael and Jeannine Gately

Michael Gately

Honoree for May 17th, 2019

Michael was nominated by his son, Michael, who said, “For his extraordinary service as a firefighter in the Lindenhurst FD”. 

Michael, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Ryan Gunning

Ryan Gunning

Honoree for May 10th, 2019

Ryan was nominated by his wife, Samantha, who said, “Ryan has been a volunteer for over 28 years. Serving as an EMT, firefighter, and Law Enforcement officer. He has served as a member, chief of department and served as chairman of the NYSVARA, serving the volunteer fire departments and ambulance Corps throughout NYC. He currently serves as a correction officer training the hostage Negotiations team, the Fire safety unit, ESU, the explorers and cadets. He has helped train some of the fraternal organizations prepare for disaster preparedness. 

He trains first responders across the State as a subject matter expert at the State preparedness training center, as an Emergency Vehicle operator instructor, and currently serves as or vice president of the BHTFPA.

He has trained hundreds of fire Police officers throughout the town and county at monthly meetings, seminars and other training courses. He had taught at the State Fire Academy at the annual State Fire Police Seminar, and continues to teach at the local level, State level, city level and for our organization. 

He was directly responsible for helping get 6 volunteer for departments back in service after Sandy. Getting equipment, vehicles, and food, helping get emergency equipment for the departments to serve their communities. He has done so much. He deserves recognition”. 

Ryan, thanks for all you do for the community!

Paul Smith
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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Paul Smith

Paul Smith

Honoree for May 3rd, 2019

Paul was nominated by his friend, Thomas, who said, “Paul is a fireman. He is one of the most generous men I know. He is giving of his time, experience, and is selfless in his line of work. He is one of the elite firefighters that works on the fireboats out of the station near the Verrazano Bridge. He is constantly training, learning, and passing along his knowledge and experience to others. He has helped me with fundraising in his free time. His wife is a pediatric oncology nurse. They have a son. Paul is a dedicated, relentlessly hard working, and talented First Responder. I truly hope that you choose to recognize him and his service. Thank you!!!”. Paul, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Edward Strohm

Edward Strohm

Honoree for April 26th, 2019

Edward was nominated by his friend, Sonny, who said, “A NYS Court Officer Lieutenant that has brought cops from all over the world to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund pediatric cancer research, especially at Stony Brook Children's Hospital. He is also the Vice President of the Three Strohm Sisters Foundation and a Director of the NYS Fraternal Order of Police Foundation”. Edward, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Jose Morales

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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Jose Morales

Honoree for April 19th, 2019

Jose was nominated by PSEG Field Supervisor, Edward Phelan, who said, “Jose Morales has been a lineman since 2000. His home in Baldwin Harbor was decimated in SuperStorm Sandy. He had just returned to work after knee surgery in January of 2017 when he and a colleague went to a job site to deliver a tool to a crew working in Far Rockaway. When they arrived, Jose noticed smoke coming from the back of a home. As they got closer, they noticed flames coming out of a shed attached to an attached home.

 

Jose directed his colleague, Hiram Garcia, to alert the other three lineman as he put his new knee to the test and jumped over the six foot fence and raced toward the fire. He heard a popping sound coming from the shed as he got closer. By this time, the entire back of the house and now surrounding trees were engulfed in flames.

 

Jose ran around to the front of the house and kicked in the door… a woman standing inside seemed to be in shock. Flames were behind her. Jose ran inside and pulled her to safety. She wasn’t able to tell him whether there was anyone else inside the house so once she was safely outside, with flames everywhere, Jose ran back inside to check if there was anyone else inside.

 

At the same time, the other four crewmembers were going from house to house banging on doors to alert the neighbors. Colleague, Craig Hanson, broke down the door of the adjoining house, which by now was also engulfed. There was a man inside who was resistant to leaving. Hanson called to Jose, and the two men dragged the man to safety. 

 

As they got out to safety, the entire structure went up in flames. Thanks to their efforts, everyone was evacuated safely and firefighters arrived to put out the fire. Besides Jose, the other PSEG Long Island lineman heroes are Hiram Garcia, Anthony Grabowski, Craig Hanson and Brandon Arias. Thank you for recognizing the work of lineman as First Responders for Lineman Appreciation Day.” 

Jose, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Robert Bell

Robert Bell

Honoree for April 12th, 2019

Robert was nominated by his brother, Tim, who said, “Search/Rescue, Rescue/Recovery on the ""Pile"" for months. Then went to S.I Landfill to sift debris fields for DNA for the fallen. Advocate to get Zadroga Bill passed. Went to DC walked H.O.C and the H.O.R with Fealgood Foundation. Guided many 1st Responders to the WTC Health program”. Robert wishes to dedicate this honor to all the 9/11 Responders. Robert, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Ray Sitler

Ray Sitler

Honoree for April 5th, 2019

Ray was nominated by The Alzheimer’s Association Long Island Chapter, who said, “The Alzheimer’s Association Long Island Chapter would like to nominate Suffolk County Police Officer Raymond Sitler. He is a 26 year veteran of the police department and is currently the Crisis Intervention Coordinator. For the past 17 years, Officer Sitler has been teaching a curriculum to allow officers to understand the unique needs of vulnerable populations. In this work, he has been partnering with the Alzheimer’s Association to equip law enforcement and other public safety/first responders with information and proper protocols to use when encountering individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias to keep first responders and the individuals and communities they serve safer”. Ray, thanks for all you do for the community!

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David Arzuaga

David Arzuaga

Honoree for March 29th, 2019

David was nominated by his friend, Robert, who said, “On December 8th, 2018, I woke my wife up in the middle of the night with what I thought was gastric reflux. My wife called 911 and David Arzuaga (EMT from West Islip Fire Department) arrived with his team. Dave saved my life. He ran an EKG in my bedroom and confirmed that I was having a massive heart attack. Hard to believe because I thought I was a healthy 50 year old guy! Dave used his training and proceeded to implement a program that was put together by Dr. Ezra Deutsch, an Interventional Cardiologist from Bay Shore. When EMT's have a patient having a heart attack they make one phone call which sets off series of procedures whereby the Interventional Cardiologist will be operating in the catherization lab on that patient within one hour of the phone call. With that being said, David stabilized me at home with mediation, IV's and got my vitals up enough to be transported to the hospital. Dave also prepared for the worst, which was getting the paddles ready to shock me in case I flat-lined. I owe my life to David Arzuaga and the entire WI Fire Department unit of first responders that night. David is so kind that he actually stopped over my house to see how I was doing a week after the heart attack! He is a man who is deserving of recognition and gratitude. I would like to come down to the station and personally do a shout out for David and offer the public some tips about the differences between heart burn and a heart attack”. David, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Nadine Navarro

Nadine Navarro

Honoree for March 22nd, 2019

Nadine was nominated by her fiance, Wilfred, who said, “Nadine is not only a volunteer EMT-B at Bay Shore Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance she is also currently deployed to Kuwait. Nadine has been volunteering for over 5 years between Brentwood and Bay Shore. She is also in the military for over 14 years with this being her second deployment. So from her Fiance and second family over here at Bay Shore, we love you Nay and miss you”. Nadine, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Joe Cuccia

Joe Cuccia

Honoree for March 15th, 2019

Joe was nominated by his friend, Wendy, who said, “I nominate Joe Cuccia for First Responder Friday. He truly loves what he does. Helping others in their time of need is his life's calling. His unwavering dedication as a firefighter, EMT, and law enforcement officer spans more than 35 years. He is an active lifetime member of Hagerman Fire Dept in his home town of East Patchogue since 1984. He is a NYS certified EMT since 1987. His passion for helping others and serving the community didn't stop there. His career path later took him to Fulton County, NY, where he was a corrections officer (20 yrs) and was chief of Caroga Lake FD for 6 years and maintained his EMT status. He is back on LI since '08 and remains with Hagerman FD and is also a F/T EMT with South Country Ambulance. It doesn't matter what his personal circumstances are etc...if that pager goes off and we are not far, he goes. I can’t begin to express how proud I am of Joe. I don’t mind waiting in the car til they get back or eating dinner alone because he is out there with his brothers and sisters doing what they do best. Saving lives and making a difference in the community. So thank you again for reading my letter and God Bless our Emergency Responders everywhere”. Joe, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Jim Gilliland

Jim Gilliland

Honoree for March 8th, 2019

Jim was nominated by his wife, Christine, who said, “I would like to nominate my husband Jim Gilliland. Right now, at the young age of 55+, he may no longer jump on an ambulance or a fire truck when the sirens chime, but he can do something more important. He is an EMS instructor, teaching those who want to help others. Jim became a First Responder about 35 years ago after his sister sustained an injury at home, and he couldn’t help her. He felt helpless and never wanted to have that feeling again. He joined the Point Lookout/Lido Fire Department as a Fire Fighter and also went to school to become an Emergency Medical Technician. Over the years, he advanced his education all the way up the ladder to NY State Certified Paramedic. 

He worked in Long Beach Hospital (Prior to 1991) as an EMT in the Emergency room. He is retired from the Nassau County Police Department EAB unit where, for the last 15 years of his career, he was an instructor, teaching EMTs & Paramedics. He has been an active firefighter/Paramedic with the North Lindenhurst Fire Department since 1992, since 1995 he has been the Department Chaplain.

Jim is a wonderful teacher, kind and compassionate person, a great husband and loving father. There are not many Fire Departments/ Ambulance Facilities on Long Island that do know or have not heard of Jim Gilliland as an instructor and have benefited from his knowledge and expertise. Jim has been nominated more than once, and has received the EMT of Excellence award. He is a great teacher, always willing to help out anybody willing to learn. He truly cares about the continuing education of the EMTs so they can give their best care to those in need in emergency situations”. Jim, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Harold Jantzen

Harold Jantzen

Honoree for March 1st, 2019

Harold was nominated by his nephew, Kevin, who said, “I would love to nominate my uncle, Harold "Hal" Jantzen. He just finished his long devoted career with the Suffolk County Police Department. Proudly served 48 years of service. He reached as high of Inspector for ranking. He is not only proud of his career and what he did, but also a proud father and grandfather. He has always put everyone first! Here's to many years of great success!”. Harold, thanks for all you do for the community!

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WBAB’s First Responder Fridays

Charlie Zigrosser

Honoree for February 22nd, 2019

Charlie was nominated by his daughter, Brittany, who said, “My dad has been a part of the Bayport FD since before I was born (1990) and years before that. He was chief numerous times, and to this day is a dispatcher part-time, even after retiring. He also volunteers as a driver for the Sayville Ambulance company. He is like the mayor of Bayport and everyone knows and respects him”. Charlie, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Mike Barletta

Honoree for February 15th, 2019

Mike was nominated by his partner, Adam, who said, “A hard working guy who's been involved with Selden’s finest since he was a younger kid, always going out of his way to do the right thing, and saving countless lives as a firefighter”. Mike, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Gene Ditaranto

Gene Ditaranto

Honoree for February 8th, 2019

Gene was nominated by his wife, Jennifer, who said, “Gene is a Deputy Chief in the FDNY who gives everything he has to protect the people of NYC and make sure that his fire officers and firemen always come home to their families. Gene is passionate about what he does and gives nothing less than 100%”. Gene, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Giuseppe Lolacono

Giuseppe Loiacono

Honoree for February 1st, 2019

Giuseppe was nominated by his wife, Danielle, who said, “Giuseppe has been in Brookhaven Fire Dept for 16 years and just finished his term as chief in 2018. He goes above and beyond for his guys, they are like family. No matter what is happening, when the horns go off, he is out the door like lightning, no matter how big or small the emergency is. The guys call him day and night for just about everything and he never hesitates to take that call. He is a true neighborhood hero.” Giuseppe, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Steven Kucharczyk

Honoree for January 25th, 2019

Steven was nominated by his brother, Kevin, who said, “My brother has volunteered at Port Jefferson EMS for almost 2 years now. The reason why I feel that he deserves to be recognized is because although he is only required to volunteer for 6 hrs per week, he's put in a total of over 2,500 volunteer hours to date with that agency. This is all while working 35-40 hours per week and attending college. Lastly, I feel that like everyone else in this field, Steven truly loves what he does and he never wants to be recognized for his actions.” Steven, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Anthony Cairo

Anthony Cairo

Honoree for January 18th, 2019

Anthony was nominated by his wife, Lisa, who said, “As an FDNY Lieutenant with over 25 years experience, Anthony has been through a lot. From the loss of 3 men from L170 in 1998 in a fatal fire, to the trauma of 9/11, losing 7 members of his first firehouse (L101), to responding to the Rockaway plane crash, and now helping to take care of friends who came down with 9/11 illnesses. He continues to persevere every single day for the people of NYC. He is humble, and well loved by his men. He deserves this! Thank you.” Anthony, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Deputy Inspector Richard O’Carroll

Honoree for January 11th, 2019

Deputy/Inspector Richard O’Carroll joined the Suffolk County Police Department on September 24th 1986. After graduating the Suffolk County Police Academy, O’Carroll was assigned to the Third Precinct where he served until 2001. An officer’s job sometimes includes forcing you to switch careers for a day, as during his time in the Third Precinct, he had to become a doctor and fireman. He helped deliver a baby boy, and twice received awards for rescuing people from a burning building.

In 2001, O’Carroll started rising through the ranks of the department when he was promoted to sergeant, and transferred to the Fourth Precinct. He moved back to the Third Precinct in 2008 when he was promoted to Lieutenant. 

In 2013, O’Carroll was promoted to Captain and was transferred to the Police Academy. Three years later he was promoted to Deputy Inspector and served in the Office of the Chief of Department. A year later he went on to serve in the Community Relations Bureau where he helped support the department’s mission of improving relations between the police and the community.

O’Carroll says he will miss the people, the camaraderie, his coworkers and the many friends he’s made over the years. He’ll also miss the feeling of making a difference in the community he’s served.

O’Carroll hopes to find a way, perhaps through volunteering, to continue to serve his community.

Deputy Inspector O’Carroll thanks for all you do for the community.

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Robert Raymond Marzano

Robert Raymond Marzano

Honoree for January 4th, 2019

Robert was nominated by his brother, who said, “My brother works as an NYPD officer, as well as a volunteer Fire Fighter for North Babylon. He has answered the call of duty on both spectrums. He is also very gracious and passionate about what he does.” Robert, thanks for all you do for the community!

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Sabrina Santiago

Honoree for December 28th, 2018

Sabrina Santiago is a volunteer for Wading River Fire Department and works for Medford Volunteer Ambulance Company and Lakeland Fire Department. She was nominated by her friend Chris Miceli who said "Sabrina Santiago decided to 180' her life after getting a degree, and go into the Emergency Medical world. Since then has worked over 60 hours a week as an EMT, never sleeping, and constantly on call at the chance something happens. She deserves this recognition because she isn't the type to want recognition, and does it for the love of it. This is the kind of person who needs to see people appreciate what she does, even if they don't show it". Sabrina thanks for all you do for the community!!!

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Shawn Ziegler

Honoree for December 21st, 2018

Shawn Ziegler of Ronkonkoma Fire Department was nominated by his daughter Alex who said "I consider my dad my hero I'm so lucky to have joined the fire department with you and follow you in your foot steps love you". Shawn thanks for all you do for the community!!!

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Michael Scanlon

Honoree for December 14th, 2018

Micheal was nominated by his best friend, Dakota Filigenzi, who said, “Michael deserves to be honored because fighting fires is his passion; his life. He comes from a line of firefighters (his parents are both in the Fire Department), and has been involved in all aspects of firefighting since a child. Under his leadership, the Junior Fire Department won Youth Group of the year for 2018. I was part of this group and know Michael to be a great friend as well as the most dedicated, knowledgeable, compassionate First Responder.” Michael, thanks for all you do in the community!

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Eric Robertson

Honoree for December 7th, 2018

Eric was nominated by his Fiance’, Shirley Guale, who said, “Eric is so dedicated to being a firefighter. He hears that siren and he's ready to go. He has been in the fire service for 5 years. He loves his community and is well known in the community. I am his biggest fan and supporter because I know he loves it and is committed.” Eric, thanks for all you do in the community!

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Jamie Atkinson

Honoree for November 30th, 2018

Jamie was nominated by Thomas Young, who said, “Jamie has been a police officer and detective with the MTA Police Department for 15 years, and has been a volunteer EMT, ex-chief, and current director of Community Amulance Co. of Sayville. In addition, Jamie continues to serve his community despite having been recently diagnosed with a rare form of abdominal cancer, related to work at Ground Zero during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jamie continues to be an asset to his community, even while he heals from his illness, and is a role model for all to follow.” Jamie, thanks for all you do in the community!

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Kaitlin Riordan

Honoree for November 23rd, 2018

Kaitlin was nominated by Anthony Competiello, who said, “She is a very focused certified EMT for New York State! She has put all her hard work and dedication into showing the community of Deer Park her love for what she wants to be for the rest of her life. She never misses any calls and loves to fullfill her opportunity the best she can!” Kaitlin, thanks for all you do in the community!

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Vinny Sottile 
(Aka The Vinnman, aka to his nephews and nieces: U.V. for Uncle Vinny)

Honoree for November 16th, 2018

Vinny was nominated by his nephew, Jesse Castaldy, who said, “Uncle Vinny wanted nothing in life but to be a firefighter since he was a child. He worked hard and reached his goal of joining the FDNY. he does charity events. Dressing up as Santa for sick kids. More than that he been featured multiple times for his heroism, rescuing people from dangerous situations. Most notably for pulling a woman from a burning car at an accident he witnessed while off duty. Surely saving her life. That's just the type of guy he is. He runs toward danger instinctively even when not being paid for it. But he doesn't take himself to seriously. Vinny is a jokester a prankster . knows how to have the best of times and always the guy in the spotlight of any family function or event he attends. He's always been a hero to me and deserves to be recognized as the hero he is to you and all of New York.” Vinny, thanks for all you do in the community!

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John Nicosia

John Nicosia

Honoree for November 8th, 2018

John was nominated by his mother, Donna Nicosia, who said, “THIS GUY PUTS COUNTLESS HOURS OF HIS time into everything he does. My Son has 3 saves under his belt and is only 20 years old. Thus, the Farmingdale Volunteer Fire Company has kept him on a straight path and opened his future with the hopes of being NYC Fireman. They don't punch a clock and don't get a check..its in their hearts to be lifesavers. A great group of people. No matter what the weather they are always ready to respond. God Bless all our 1st responders. Thank you for recognizing them.” John, thanks for all you do in the community!

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Honoree for November 2nd 2018 Zarina Ronay

Zarina Ronay

Honoree for November 2nd 2018

Zarina was nominated by her sisater Yvette Mahan who said "She always puts everyone ahead of herself. She started as a volunteer in Lakeland FD became an EMT and worked her way to NYC EMS. She has climbed the ladder to become a Paramedic. She has the opportunity to go higher. But wants to stay where she is to be that person who makes a difference between life and death. Always giving to her station and everyone around her. She has been open to all of her step familie,s friends and has kept many kids from going the wrong direction. Most going into the Military and finding the right path. She became a Foster Mom to a lovely young boy who would have not had a chance without her 21 months ago. I wouldn't change a thing about her I'm so proud of her and who she has become. She has always been there when I needed her. Especially when Super storm Sandy hit us. She took my son for several months while my husband and I could try and get the house in some sense of a livable state to bring both our kids back.I couldn't thank her enough for that and all the help she did for me as my sounding board and helping me keep it together for the past 4 years of recovery. Thank you Zarina for all you do I love you with all my heart." Zarina thanks for all you do for the community!

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Kenny Burns

Honoree for October 12th 2018

Kenny was nominated by his wife Jaimie who said "I think my husband should be honored because he's been volunteering with Cutchogue Fire Department since 2007 once he joined he soon got his EMT Certification! He loved it so much he went back to school to get his EMT-Critical Care certification. He has now made it his career, he works for multiple ambulance companies on the east end. He sacrifices family time to take care of other people's family's he wouldn't trade it for the world he lives and breaths EMS. On his days off he still goes on calls for his volunteer fire department. He was recently voted Captain of Cutchogue Fire Department by his peers which he manages to do while he works 72 hours a week as a paid 1st responder. I'm extremely proud to call him my husband he is selfless and hard working!"

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Ashley Chappell

Honoree for October 5th 2018

Ashley was nominated by her mother Jessica who said "Ashley is one of the most dedicated people you will find. She volunteers with the Hicksville FD as a NYS certified EMT. She can have 3 calls in one night at all hours and runs so she can help people in need. She also serves as an adviser to their Juniors group. As a woman in a mainly male dominant profession it does show its challenges but Ashley always perseveres! She most definitely deserves this and can use the uplift she would receive from this recognition." Ashley thanks for all you do for the community.

Roger & JP In The Morning

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