Scott Henrick Named Firefighter of the Year
Allentown Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Henrick is being honored as the 2013 City of Allentown Fire Fighter of the Year. Henrick was recognized at the Allentown Fire Department’s annual memorial and awards service held today at Alumnae Hall Theatre at Cedar Crest College as part of Fire Prevention Month.
The department recognizes firefighters for their actions over the past 12 months. In addition to Firefighter of the Year, the department presents the Alfred W. Fischl Award, the Francis R. Bear Fire Prevention, Bravery, Heroism and Years of Service awards and Unit Citations.
Battalion Chief Henrick is being honored for his conscientious and dedicated work ethic. Chief Henrick took over the Battalion chief roll on the 1st Platoon. Chief Henrick has taken over command of the Haz-Mat unit and has been streamlining the protocols by which they operate. Chief Henrick also served as an instructor during the last two academy classes.
Fire Chief Bob Scheirer said, “I am extremely proud of all the members of this department. We are fortunate to have dedicated and well trained individuals who perform at very high levels. Each year the decision of who shall receive the award gets harder and harder as the members of this department consistently go above and beyond making the choice of firefighter of the year more difficult. ”
Mayor Ed Pawlowski told the firefighters in attendance, “You have demonstrated the highest skill and professional achievement in your field. Your swift response and decisive actions save lives and preserve property. We deeply appreciate your service.”
The Alfred W. Fischl Fire Service Award was bestowed upon Fire Fighter James Wesco Jr. for his consistent and dedicated work ethic throughout his 23 year career. This award is presented to a fire department individual who has served at least 20 years and has exemplified himself with consistent and dedicated work habits.
Lieutenant Jeremy Warmkessel received a Meritorious Award for Bravery. Lieutenant Warmkessel was honored for his October 2012 rescue of a two-year-old boy. The child was found lying on a bed on the second floor of a burning building at 1136 Chew Street. Realizing that the youngster was in respiratory distress, Warmkessel placed his own breathing mask over the boy’s face and safely got him out of the building. The child suffered second and third degree burns in the fire.
Lieutenant James Kutz and firefighters Roger Scheirer and William Warren received a Meritorious Award for Heroism for their actions in a September 16, 2013 structure fire at 285 E. Union Street. Once on scene flames could be seen from the second floor. Residents were seen at the second floor window unable to make their escape as the fire was blocking the path of egress. Lieutenant Kutz and Firefighter Warren immediately placed a ground ladder at the window. Lt. Kutz made his way up the ladder and into the room to assist the residents onto the ladder while FF Warren was helping them down the ladder. Meanwhile during a search of the first floor Firefighter Scheirer found a woman completely disoriented by the smoke and was able to help her out to safety.
A Unit Citation was awarded for a Catasauqua Avenue fire on May 26, 2013. Crews quickly discovered this fire was already inside the walls and running along the roof. Crews immediately started opening walls and defensive ventilation on the roof to stop the spread of fire to other homes in the row. Those recipients are: Assistant Chief Christopher Kiskeravage, Battalion Chief Phil Atiyeh, Captain Jeffrey Hess, lieutenants James Kutz, Peter Lenig, Christopher Groller, Theodore Maguire and Craig McGinnis, Fire Marshal Ian Lenig and firefighters Roger Scheirer, Joseph Kemmerer, Jeremy Nyemscek, Vincent Kidd, Brennen Harding, Peter Zondlo, Ronald Conway, Arthur Scott, Michael Humes, James Alpha, Christopher Williams, James Wesco, Michael Evans, Kevin Cannon, Onix Reyes-Santiago and Jason Campanella.
A Unit Citation was awarded for a structure fire on January 22, 2013. In the early morning hours crews were dispatched to a structure fire at Youell’s Restaurant in the 2200 block of Walnut Street. Once on scene crews made an aggressive interior attack, but were forced out due to the extreme heat. Heavy smoke was showing from all sides of the structure. A defensive attack was then ordered with emphasis on protecting the neighboring structures. Later the building suffered a partial collapse and was later demolished. Crews did an outstanding job stopping the spread of fire to any of the neighboring buildings. Those recipients are: Battalion Chief James Wehr, Captain Christian Williams, lieutenants Jack Bryant, David Arner, Charles Haydt, Mark Trumbore, Paul Heckenberger and Michael Smith and firefighters Wadih Atiyeh, Michael Achey, Kevin Jefferson, Thomas King, John Burkhart, Todd Weisel, Jonathan Hammel, Kevin Frantz, Jason Tatum, Chad Long, Steven Munsch, Rodney Bolton, Eric Sommers, Joseph Zimmerman, Michael Kostick, Mark Kennedy, Jeffrey Tomczak, Aaron Pychinka, Kirk Cressley, Timothy Bruce and Steven Foulke.
A Unit Citation was awarded for a vehicle extrication operation on January 27, 2013 on the city’s East Side. In the early morning hours engine 9 was on its way to a house fire on Irving Street then was diverted to an accident in the 1700 block of Hanover Avenue. Once on scene the accident was upgraded to a rescue with two victims; one was already deceased, the other’s condition was grave. Because of the house fire the other rescue apparatus was committed and the next available engine was on the South Side. Assuming the roles of eight to nine firefighters, the Engine 9 crew was able to extricate the victim and hand over to EMS before the next due engine arrived. Those recipients are firefighters Chad Ege, Peter McAllister and Nathan Krajcirik.
Civilian Meritorious awards were sent to Wilkyns Melendez and Edwin Aponte for their role in saving a drowning child from the area of the Jordan Park foot bridge on May 16, 2013.
A Civilian Letter of Appreciation was sent to Mr. Jason Morales for his role in helping his first floor neighbor extinguish a kitchen fire on November 20, 2012.
Allentown Fire Department Captain John Christopher received the Francis R. Bear Fire Prevention Award for his efforts in the areas of fire prevention, public safety and education.
Certificates of Merit were awarded to Allentown Fire Department Lieutenant Kevin Baer and Firefighter Jonathan Hammel. Lieutenant Baer was cited for leading and organizing the entire redevelopment of the Allentown Firefighter Apprenticeship Homework Program. Firefighter Hammel was recognized for his role as lead instructor of Recruit Class 12-01.
Letters of Appreciation were given to the entire Allentown Fire Academy staff. The members are assistant chiefs Christopher Kiskeravage and Lee Laubach; battalion chiefs Scott Henrick and James Wehr; lieutenants James Kutz, Chris Groller, Sean O’Neill, Kevin Baer and Theodore Maguire; and firefighters Jonathan Hammel, Vincent Kidd, James Boyle, Dustin Grow, Matthew Eharth, Michael Matchette and William Warren; and paramedics Doug Gernerd, Scott Brokaw, Matt Brett, Phil Banks and Bryan Fritz.
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