Firefighters, police officers and others who acted quickly to save lives received awards for their good work Friday, and the Watertown Fire Department swore in their recently promoted and hired members.
The Watertown Library’s Watertown Savings Bank Room was packed with family members and well wishers for the ceremony.
Acting Fire Chief Bob Quinn said he was happy to mark something positive after a tough stretch for the Fire Department during which Firefighter Joe Toscano died while fighting a fire and Fire Chief Mario Orangio was diagnosed and died from cancer linked to his fire service.
“The last year and a half has been rough for the Watertown Fire Department,” Quinn said. “It is great to be here for a happy occasion.”
Elderly Woman Rescued from Under Car
The Commendation Board of the Watertown Fire Department approved awards for people involved in three separate incidents where a person faced grave situation but whose life was saved.
The first incident took place on Dec. 15, 2015, when an elderly woman was struck by a vehicle that was backing out of a driveway at the corner of Adams Street and Mt. Auburn Street, Quinn said.
“The patient was trapped under the vehicle and was in cardiac arrest,” Quinn said.
Watertown Fire Engine 2, Ladder 2 and C2 responded to the scene. The tools needed to remove the vehicle were not immediately available, and construction in the area made accessing the scene difficult. Therefore, the Fire and Police personnel on the scene decided to lift the vehicle by hand. They also got help from construction workers from Feeney Brothers Utility Service and a Billerica Police Officer who was at the scene.
After the vehicle was removed, the patient was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center by Armstrong Ambulance and a pulse was regained by the crew on the way to the hospital.
For their role in the incident, Watertown Fire Lt. Sean Connolly and Firefighters Shane Gleason and Jeffrey Menton received the Company Citation Award. Watertown Police Sgts. Jeffrey Pugliese and Sheila Grady-Duguay and officers Thomas Dicker and Joseph Reynolds; Officer Ian Taylor of the Billerica Police; Scott Embree and John Ward of Feeney Brothers; and Armstrong Ambulance Paramedic of Jason Nichols all received the Medal of Commendation.
WFD’s Deputy Chief Daniel Tardif, Lt. Sean Fitzgerald, and Firefighters Daryl Baynes, Jason Capello and Jonathan Mazzola; and EMTs Zachary Mickelson and Victoria Lang of Armstrong Ambulance have been awarded Letters of Commendation.
Man Saved After Having Heart Attack at Gym
On Jan. 19, 2017, a man was found lying on the ground of the locker room at Boston Sports Club on Arsenal Street, and he was unresponsive. Club employee Marcianne Andredozzi called for the defibrillator and started CPR. Club member Chris Deangelis joined and assisted giving CPR. At that time defibrillation was not advised.
Watertown Police Officer Harold “Tony” Physic arrived and assisted with the CPR, and defibrillation shock was given. Watertown Firefighters and a crew from Armstrong Ambulance arrived a short time later and started Cardio Cerebral Resuscitation and they gave the patient high-flow oxygen and cardiac medications. They then placed the patient on the LUCAS automatic compression device and a second defibrillation was given.
“The patient regained consciousness and was transported to Mt. Auburn Hospital,” Quinn said. “He was immediately brought to the cath lab and was diagnosed with a partial or full blockage. He received treatment and was released one week later showing no signs or negative effects from the event.”
For their part in saving the man’s life, Watertown Fire Lt. Paul Lafauci and Firefighters James Caruso, Jeffrey Meon and Robert Martinello received Company Citation Awards. Watertown Police Officer Harold Physic; Armstrong Ambulance Paramedics Adam Silva and Megan Donohue; Marcianne Andreozzi of Boston Sports Club and citizen Chris Deangelis all received the Medal of Commendation.
Man Having Heart Attack Revived
A 67-year-old man was found lying on the ground at the Armenian Cultural and Education Center with no pulse on Feb. 26, 2017.
People at the event had already started CPR when Watertown Firefighters from Engine 2 and Medic 1 arrived. They started cardio cerebral resuscitation.
“Medic 1 delivered three shocks and was able to regain a pulse and the patient began breathing on his own,” Quinn said. “The patient was alert and oriented when Medic 1 arrived at the hospital.”
The Commendation Board awarded Watertown Fire Lt. Brian Donovan and Firefighters James Mortensen, Mathew Nicholson, Patrick Caritte and David Messina the Company Citation Award. Dr. Robert Muggia, who assisted before medics arrived, was awarded a Medal of Commendation.
Swearing In Ceremony
During the swearing in ceremony, including for 10 recent hires, Town Manager Michael Driscoll remembered the legacy of Orangio and Toscano.
“It was the strength of Firefighter Toscano and Chief Orangio’s character that made them truly great people. They were well respected by their colleagues; fellow firefighters and the residents of our Town,” Driscoll said. “Being a firefighter is more than courage, it’s sacrificing yourself for something greater than yourself. Firefighter Toscano and Chief Orangio were true leaders with servant’s hearts.”
Eric Allen’s promotion from firefighter to lieutenant was marked on Friday. He was appointed firefighter in September 2001, appointed actin lieutenant in May 2016 and became a permanent lieutenant in October 2016.
Also sworn in were 10 new firefighters and paramedics. They had their badges pinned on them by family members (Name and date of appointment).
Dean Corsi – March 2016
David Messina – May 2016
Patrick Carritte – June 2016
Anthony Caruso – August 2016
Philip Russo – April 2017
Daniel Russo – September 2017
Anthony Tomao – September 2017
Taylor Davis – September 2017
Matthew Callahan – October 2017
Tyler Bourgeois – November 2017
Also, four members of the Fire Department were recognized for their longevity of services with the WFD: Chief Bob Quinn had 30 years and Deputy Chief Dan Tardif, Firefighter James Mortenson and Captain Thomas Walsh each had 20 years.