RFD celebrates stand-out volunteers

05/17/2014 12:30 PM |
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The department’s chiefs for 2014 are sworn in (Credit: Paul Squire)

Since Robert Zaweski joined the Riverhead Fire Department in 1985, he’s done just about everything.

He was a treasurer, a second lieutenant, then first lieutenant, assistant captain, then captain, then deputy chief three times until finally serving as chief of the entire department in 2007 and 2008.

“Any job you give Bob, he gets it done,” said current Chief Joseph Raynor.

That commitment to the volunteer corps earned Mr. Zaweski Firefighter of the Year honors at the department’s annual installation dinner at the Long Island Aquarium Friday night.

Mr. Zaweski — who was at his brother’s birthday party in the Midwest and couldn’t attend — was one of dozens of Riverhead’s firefighters honored for their accomplishments in 2013.

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Second lieutenant Brian Raynor — the chief’s son — and first lieutenant Jamie Brooks both won awards as the top lieutenants in the department. Riverhead Fire Police Captain Baycan Fidelli was named Captain of the Year, having overseen a new program for fire police recruitment that has strengthened the company.

The department also recognized Bill Kelly, John Tradeski Jr., Frank Darrow and Steve and Norman “Skip” Beal for their work helping volunteers train at the department’s training grounds for the past 12 years. The department’s top responder was ex-Captain Bruce Edwards, who answered 282 of the department’s 330 total alarms.

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Company of the year went to the Washington Engine Co. #2, which saw several new recruits join last year. Twenty-seven new members joined the department in total last year, fire officials said.

Scroll down for more photos from the night:

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The Washington Engine Company accepting their Company of the Year award.(Credit: Paul Squire)

Second lieutenant of the year Brian Raynor hands the company of the year award to Charles Bloss, a longtime member of the department. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Second lieutenant of the year Brian Raynor hands the company of the year award to Charles Bloss, a longtime member of the department. (Credit: Paul Squire)

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Brian Raynor won second lieutenant of the year honors (Credit: Paul Squire)

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Jamie Brooks accepts his award as first lieutenant of the year. (Credit: Paul Squire)

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Fifty-year member Robert Kujawski earned commendations from North Fork representatives at the awards dinner for his years of service. (Credit: Paul Squire)

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