200 Club of Morris County Recognizes 33 Local Heroes
with Annual Awards of Valor, Meritorious Service.
MORRISTOWN, N.J. – A team of Flanders firefighters who pushed through a wall of fire to rescue a 9-year-old girl are among 33 local police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians being recognized by the 200 Club of Morris County for going above and beyond the call of duty to assist local residents.
The 42nd Annual Valor & Meritorious Awards Dinner takes place at 6 p.m. on April 24 at the Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Information about tickets and sponsorships is available atwww.200ClubofMorrisCounty.com/
Those winning Awards of Valor include three Flanders firefighters and three Mount Olive police officers who arrived at the two-story, multi-family house early on Feb. 18 to find flames whipping out the windows and climbing as high as the house itself. With the volunteer fire company still en route, officers entered the smoke-filled second floor without breathing apparatus to warn sleeping residents. They found one person who was sound sleep with no idea that his house was on fire.
When firefighters arrived, three entered the first-floor inferno with a hose to conduct an initial search. They found 9-year-old Bianca Bonner on the floor alive, but barely breathing. Fire had closed in behind them, but they grabbed Bianca and pushed their way back out.
Other firefighters on the scene met them at the door. They took Bianca and, in temperatures close to 0, began resuscitating her while the team went back in to search for Bianca’s brother and father. Bianca survived the fire, although the other two victims did not.
The three firefighters — Capt. Kevin Elms, Lt. Patrick Piserchio and Firefighter Gregory Widzemok — and the police officers – Sgt. Mark Carlstrom, Officer Scott J. Price and Officer Chad E. Rossy — will receive Valor Awards for the rescues. Assistant Fire Chief Michael McDermott, Firefighters Kevin Dolan and Iain J. Thomlinson and Budd Lake First Aid Squad Lt. Nicholas Petonak will receive Meritorious Awards for their parts in Bianca’s rescue.
The awards recognize outstanding service during 2013. Those whose lives are placed in danger receive the Award of Valor. Those who perform above and beyond the call of duty, but are not actually placed in danger, receive an Award of Meritorious Service.
“Giving these awards is the high point of the year for us,” said Lou Nisivoccia, president of the 200 Club. “These people think nothing of putting their lives on the line every day of the year for us. Most of us never realize these things are happening. The very least we can do is say thank you. These awards allow us to do that and make it special.”
Award organizers noted that this year is unique in that two brothers, John and Michael McDermott, are receiving Meritorious Awards for different incidents. Following is a list of award winners and a synopsis of the incidents for which they are being recognized:
- · MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, May 27 – Without regard for their own safety, three Mount Olive police officers entered a garage filled with carbon monoxide and rescued a suicidal man. The man had locked himself in the running car and officers not only had to enter the garage but climb into the car through the hatchback to open the vehicle and pull the man out. He survived and was able to receive needed help. The officers earned Awards of Valor.
o Mount Olive Township Police Department
§ Police Officer Casey Grimm
§ Police Officer Hunter Guiles
§ Police Officer Eric Krouse
- · BUTLER, July 30: Three departments worked to rescue a distraught 23-year-old man from jumping on to Route 23 from an overpass. Officers engaged in conversation with the man from the street and from a Fire Department tower truck. All earned a Meritorious Award.
o Butler Police Department
§ Patrolman George Beyloune
§ Lt. Michael Moeller
§ Patrolman Jorge Reyes
o Kinnelon Police Department
§ Detective Sgt. David Crouthamel
§ Patrolman Rickey Ferriola
§ Lt. Joseph Napoletano
o Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
§ Sgt. John R. McDermott
- · ROXBURY, HOPATCONG, 2013: Working countless hours to lead a series of narcotics investigations in Roxbury, Hopatcong and California, this team identified and arrested 30 defendants in 30 days, broke up an organized-crime marijuana network based in California and operating in Roxbury and Hopatcong and netted a radio communications company owner who used his position to monitor police communications in an attempt to evade law enforcement while selling drugs. All three earned the Meritorious Award.
o Hopatcong Borough Police Department
§ Detective Ryan Tracey
o Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
§ Supervising Assistant Prosecutor Bradford C. Seabury
o Roxbury Township Police Department
§ Detective Richard J. Ricco
- · MENDHAM TOWNSHIP, May 26: Patrol became anything but routine when an alert officer spotted burglars in a home. The burglars were arrested and discovered to be wanted in several other jurisdictions for burglary, impersonating an officer, robbery, aggravated assault and drug charges. Officers involved are receiving Meritorious Awards.
o Mendham Township Police Department
§ Patrolman Matthew Ambrosi
§ Detective Daniel R. Taquinto
o Pequannock Township Police Department
§ Patrolman Matthew J. Halligan
- · MORRISTOWN , Jan. 2: When firefighters were alerted to a person in cardiac arrest at a nearby business, they ran to assist. Using the emergency medical training and an automated external defibrillator, they restarted the man’s heart. He is alive and well today. Those involved are receiving Meritorious Awards.
o Morristown Fire Bureau
§ Firefighter/EMT Richard Alexander
§ Firefighter/EMT Gregory Blekicki
§ Firefighter/EMT Dominic Prizzi
§ Firefighter/EMT Joseph SanFelice III
- · MOUNT OLIVE TOWNSHIP, July 16: Responding to a report of an emotionally disturbed, suicidal person, Sgt. Anthony Annecchiarico was met by an aggressive, knife-wielding man. Sgt. Annecchiarico was able to keep the man engaged in conversation, even while the man threatened to cut himself and Sgt. Annechiarico and while the man fled from the home, across a busy highway and into a heavily wooded area. He receives a Meritorious Award.
o Mount Olive Township Police Department
§ Sgt. Anthony Annecchiarico
- · JEFFERSON and other communities: Detective Sgt. Stephen M. Urbanski tackled and solved a 20-year-old missing-persons case that encompassed Mercer County, Jefferson and New York City. Using out-of-the-box thinking, DNA and a lot of legwork, Detective Sgt Urbanski identified a woman who had been murdered and dismembered in 1989, solving the case and giving closure to the woman’s family. His work has earned a Meritorious Award.
o New Jersey State Police
§ Detective Sgt. Stephen M Urbanski
Since its inception in 1971, the 200 Club of Morris County has distributed more than $4 million in benefits to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services workers and their families. Benefits take the form of survivor benefits to the families who have lost a spouse who was a first-responder and scholarships that have been awarded to children of emergency workers in Morris County. The organization also recognizes the heroic actions of those who keep the public safe and secure.
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