Firefighter Howard Waldman, who saved not one, but two lives last year, has been named Jamesport Fire Department’s Firefighter of the Year.
Mr. Waldman, a longtime veteran of the department and an ex-chief, was honored at the department’s annual installation and awards dinner at the Vineyard Caterers in Jamesport on April 14, where the department’s top responders were also recognized.
Mr. Waldman saved the life of an 84-year-old woman who had laid incapacitated in her home for a full two days before he showed up at her door delivering flowers. The owner of Main Road’s Jamesport Country Store, Mr. Waldman said he saw the door cracked open and after ringing the bell several times, finally went in to see if anyone was inside. Ann Baillet had thought she was at the hospital when Mr. Waldman found her on the floor after a spill.
In another incident, according to RiverheadLocal.com, Mr. Waldman saved someone who had accidentally backed into the water at Iron Pier Beach instead of pulling forward while taking a boat out of the water. The Jeep was quickly submerged in the water with the driver inside, though Mr. Waldman made his second save of the year.
Daniel Doroski earned the Probationary Firefighter of the Year award for his “outstanding service throughout 2013” and ex-chief Harold “Duffy” Griffiths III was presented with an Ex-Chiefs Award for his six years of service as chief engineer to the district.
Awards were also handed out to the top ten most active firefighters, measured in terms of “points” earned for answering calls:
- Ryan Higgins — 388 points
- Gustav Hegner — 310 points
- Joseph A. Szot — 235 points
- Gary Faucon — 223 points
- James Fetten — 210 points
- Thomas Brady — 207 points
- Stevie Czelatka, Jr. — 204 points
- Lewis Tomaszewski — 194 points
- Dan Doroski — 189 points
- 10. Stanley Zaweski — 175 points
In addition to the awards, seven other firefighters were recognized for their years of service to the department. Joel Lazarus, Bruce Roehrig and Gary Troyan were honored for their 20 years of service, Larry Kaiser was recognized for 25 years of service and Lee Anthony, John Apicello, and Robert Diem were commended for their 40 years of Service.