Honor your outstanding volunteers with a nomination for the FASNY Firefighter of the Year Award sponsored by VFIS. Each year, FASNY recognizes its bravest members with this prestigious honor designated for those who exemplify what the fire service and protecting our communities is all about.
2018 Firefighter of the Year Sponsored by:
Timothy Duckham, Thomas Kriklava, Patrick Diecidue, Jennifer O’Brien, Joseph LaRocco and John Hansen
Smithtown Fire Department
On August 24, 2016, the Smithtown Fire Department was activated for an automatic alarm at 38 Sterling Lane, the home of a Hauppauge Fire Department member, Captain Tom Sidik.
First on the scene of the working fire were Captain Tim Duckham and EMT-CC Tom Kriklava. Assistant Chief Pat Diecidue was the first responding Chief. Finding no easy access after a 360-degree size up, Captain Duckham and EMT Kriklava forced the front door open and entered without regard for their personal safety to begin a search without the use of SCBA. They encountered a thick, choking smoke that filled the upper level of the house. After partially searching the second floor, Captain Duckham and EMT Kriklava exited the house and donned SCBAs from the Chief’s vehicle and first responder car before re-entering to continue the search. These searches were being made without the benefit of protective hose lines as apparatus had not yet arrived.
While EMT Kriklava searched one bedroom, Captain Duckham found an unconscious 3-year-old girl. He removed the victim, walking down the hallway to the top of the stairs.
There he was met by Chief Diecidue and, together, they transported the victim to the front lawn. EMT Kriklava exited the building and assessed the victim’s medical condition. He determined that the victim was in respiratory arrest and provided rescue breathing via mouth-to-mouth to the 3-year-old victim. Once his EMS gear was brought to him by police officers, EMT Kriklava provided rescue breathing via bag-valve-mask.
The victim was transported in the first arriving ambulance from Smithtown FD with EMT Kriklava joining the crew to continue to provide ALS care.
Chief Diecidue donned the SCBA previously worn by EMT Kriklava and re-entered the building with Captain Duckham to continue searching. Chief Diecidue and Captain Duckham continued searching with worsening conditions. With the arrival of apparatus and manpower, Chief Diecidue and Captain Duckham informed them of where they had searched. Chief Diecidue then handled interior operations for continued searches and firefighting efforts for the remainder of the alarm. Captain Duckham exited the building for rehab.
Engine 4-2-4 arrived on the scene with a crew that included Ex-Captain Jenn O’Brien. Advised by command of two known victims and the unknown location of the fire, ExCaptain O’Brien and a Lieutenant entered and started searching for two known victims.
Timothy Duckham, Thomas Kriklava, Patrick Diecidue, Jennifer O’Brien, Joseph LaRocco and John Hansen Smithtown Fire Department 2017 FIREFIGHTERS OF THE YEAR Rescue 4-2-9 arrived shortly after 4-2-4 and the crew was split to assist with the search and add manpower to the hose line off of 4-2-4. Engine 4-2-5 arrived at approximately the same time as 4-2-9. Captain/Ex-Chief John Hansen had his crew stretch a second hose line, assist with searching for victims and fire, and secure a water source for 4-2-4.
During search efforts, Ex-Captain O’Brien found the mother and her 3-month-old son unconscious in the bathroom. Coincidentally, Ex-Captain O’Brien had delivered the baby three months earlier in the same bathroom.
The victims were wedged together between the vanity and the toilet. After yelling for assistance, Ex-Captain O’Brien was aided by Firefighter Joe LaRocco. While trying to free the two victims, Firefighter LaRocco freed the infant. Captain Hansen entered the bathroom and, along with Ex-Captain O’Brien, moved the mother to the bathroom door.
Firefighter LaRocco passed the baby off to Ex-Captain O’Brien, who removed the 3-month-old from the house and began efforts to revive the victim along with another EMT. She started rescue breathing by mouth-to-mouth until the victim was put in the care of an EMS crew from Kings Park Fire Department.
Firefighter LaRocco and Captain Hansen removed the mother from the bathroom into the hallway. They were then assisted by the rest of the crew to move the mother down the hall to the stairs. The victim was then removed from the house and placed onto a waiting stretcher.
The Smithtown FD EMS crew transported the victim to the hospital. The split crews of 4-2-5 and 4-2-9 found the fire and extinguished it.
All three victims were removed from the involved house in respiratory or cardiac arrest. The mother was transported to St. Catherine’s Hospital. She was later transported to University Hospital at Stony Brook, where she remained in very critical condition with respiratory injuries.
After almost four months, the mother was transported to the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center for consideration for a double lung transplant. Unfortunately, she succumbed to her injuries on December 15, 2016. The two children were revived in route to University Hospital. They were discharged after making a full recovery.
Captain Duckham, EMT-CC Kriklava, Assistant Chief Diecidue, Ex-Captain O’Brien, Firefighter LaRocco and Captain Hansen showed extraordinary teamwork at a scene that looked to be a tragedy, but ended in a successful and heroic effort.
Past Award Recipients
|1955||J. Robert Kramer||Lewis Tompkins Hose Company #1|
|1956||Edward Dixon||Great Neck Vigilants|
|1957||William M. Belinson||Eggertsville Hose Company|
|1958||John Patrick Cronin III||Tallman Fire Company #1|
|1959||Dominic C. Zappia||Massena Fire Department|
|1960||Donald Brown||West Carthage Fire Department|
|1961||James Gilliam||Lewiston Fire Company #2|
|1962||Russell Fleischman||Washington Engine Company #2|
|1963||James H. Jackson||Andover Fire Department|
|1964||Donald H. Price||Nyack Fire Department|
|1965||Stephen R. Bucki||Harris Hill Fire Company|
|1966||Gary Elbert||Flower Hill Hose Company #1|
|1967||Gordon O. Schmidt||St. Paul Boulevard Fire Association|
|1968||Jake Parris||Patchogue Fire Department|
|1969||Thomas Nameth||Slater Chemical Fire Company|
|1970||Charles L. Ossont||Westmoreland Fire Department|
|1971||Barry Simmons||Rhinebeck Fire Department|
|1972||Hobart A. Abbey||Forest View — Gang Mills Fire Deptartment|
|1973||Harry Charkow||Mattituck Fire Department|
|1974||John A. Keogh||Mattituck Fire Department|
|1975||John Richard Green||Merrick Fire Department|
|1976||Willard John Hoyt||South Schodak Fire Company|
|1977||Alton L. Lewis||Montour Falls Fire Department|
|1978||George Cannella||Islip Terrace Fire Department|
|1979||Randall R. Rhoades||East Syracuse Fire Department|
|1980||George Jerry Dean||Gates — Chili Fire Department|
|1981||David A. Sedlock||Massena Fire Department|
|1982||David L. Curley||Delhi Fire Department|
|1983||Richard W. Gehrt||Smithtown Fire Department|
|1984||Frederic Furminger||Depew Fire Department|
|1985||Thomas A. Phillips||S. W. Johnson Steam Fire Engine Company|
|1986||Michael F. Reid||Merrick Hook & Ladder Company #1|
|1987||John L. Hyzer||Bainbridge Fire Department|
|1988||Paul Edward Vinciguerra||Lindenhurst Chemical & Salvage Company #2|
|1989||Robert A. Frank||Central Islip Fire Department|
|1990||Robert Hitchcock||Blenheim Fire Department|
|1991||Charles R. Zigrosser||Bayport Fire Department|
|1992||George P. Motchkavitz||Great Neck Alert Engine Company|
|1993||Robert Pettigrew||North Babylon Fire Company|
|1994||Paul A. MacMurray||Hudson Falls Fire Department|
|1995||Kenneth T. Jones||Sayville Hook & Ladder Company #1|
|1995||William H. Pyne III||Sayville Hook & Ladder Company #1|
|1996||David A. DiDio||Bellport Fire Department|
|1997||Matthew F. Merecka||Freeport Fire Department|
|1998||Larry J. Stumpo||North Patchogue Fire Department|
|1999||James S. Fredericks||Mohegan Volunteer Fire Association, Inc.|
|2000||Mark Sposato||Brewerton Fire Department, Inc.|
|2001||Raymond Valles||Ossining Steamer Company #1, Inc.|
|2001||Donald J. Farrell||Cataract Hose Company #2|
|2001||John Simkins||Ossining Fire Department|
|2001||William H. Brown III||Ossining Fire Department|
|2002||Dedicated to those who died in the Line of Duty 9/11/01|
|2003||Brian Stevens||Manlius Vol. Fire Company, Inc.|
|2004||John C. Glidden III||Huntington Manor Fire Department|
|2004||Frederick Steenson Jr.||Huntington Manor Fire Department|
|2004||Richard Prudente||Huntington Manor Fire Department|
|2005||Joseph Cirincione||Rush Fire Department|
|2005||Michael Terzo||Rush Fire Department|
|2005||Peter Henry||Rush Fire Department|
|2005||James Bucci||Rush Fire Department|
|2006||Richard J. Gimbl||Holbrook Fire Department|
|2007||Lieutenant Al Cinotti||West Islip Fire Department|
|2008||Lieutenant Edward Kunz||Bay Shore Fire Department|
|2008||Lieutenant John Ippolito Jr.||Bay Shore Fire Department|
|2009||Assistant Chief Timothy R. Ellis||North Syracuse Fire Department|
|2010||Kevin Oatman, Aldo Cacciotti and Jeff Hugunine||Verona Fire Department|
|2011||Second Assistant Chief Brian J. Lena and Captain William J. “Billy” Bahr||Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department|
|2012||Andrew Kolesar||West Haverstraw Fire Department|
|2013||John Curley||Bellmore Fire Department|
|2014||Thomas J. Gorman||Bohemia Fire Department|
|2015||Frank Crispin, Steve Zaferakis, Phil Vogt, Ryan Whitmore, and Jeremy Corsaro||Moyers Corners Fire Department|
|2016||Frederick Kopf||Baldwin Fire Department|
|2017||Timothy Duckham, Thomas Kriklava,
Patrick Diecidue, Jennifer O’Brien,
Joseph LaRocco and John Hansen
|Smithtown Fire Department|