By Olivia Drake, HVFCo. Public Information Officer.
Members of Haddam Volunteer Fire Company celebrated their 2018 achievements during the annual Firefighters’ Appreciation Banquet held Feb. 2, 2019 at the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. Haddam Fire Chief Sam Baber emceed the event, which included a social hour with hors d’oeuvres, dinner, awards, recognition speeches, raffle prizes and a photo slide show. The banquet ended abruptly at 9:05 p.m., when many firefighters responded to the scene of a motor vehicle accident.
In 2018, three members completed Firefighter I; four members completed Firefighter II; four members completed EMR or EMT training; and one Junior completed Introductory to the Fire Service course at the Connecticut Fire Academy.
In 2018, Haddam Volunteer Fire Company responded to 581 calls for emergency services (106 more calls than in 2017) including 11 fires; 331 medicals; 72 motor vehicle accidents; 48 alarms; 30 electrical hazards; 11 hazmat; 7 marine; 11 good intent; and 48 others. Haddam received mutual aid on 24 of those calls and provided mutual aid 32 times. Members volunteered more than 2,500 hours of service, as well as countless hours of training.
Firefighter Mike Miller received the Firefighter of the Year Award for going above and beyond in 2018. Miller, who is 62 years old, recently joined the company and completed Firefighter I and Firefighter II training. He serves on multiple committees and was praised for his positive and go-getter attitude. Lt. Tony Lafo received the Chief’s Award for “wearing many hats” in the company. Lafo serves on the Haddam Volunteer Fire Department Board of Directors, leads the company’s fit testing project, spearheads the Membership Committee, and serves as the company’s record administrator. Lafo also was a 2018 top responder. Captain Ed Adametz, Ej Adametz, Joe Tomasso and Greg Duval received Star Awards for establishing and implementing the company’s new Field Training Officer program.
The 2018 top responders were honored with a certificate. They are: Ej Adametz with 239 calls; Capt. Richard Zanelli with 220 calls; Lt. Tony Lafo with 189 calls; Capt. Peter Brown with 187 calls; and Ronald Annino with 175 calls. In addition, the following members received years of service pins issued in 2018: Olivia Drake, 5 years; Mike Mancuso, 5 years; Dan Sullivan 10 years; Zack Tiezzi 10 years; Jeff Doskos 15 years; Franklin Pierce 20 years; and Scott Larson 30 years.
The 2018 officers include Sam Baber, chief; Zack Tiezzi, deputy chief; Dan Sullivan, assistant chief; Richard Zanelli, Peter Brown and Ed Adametz, captains; Scott Kuchyt, Franklin Pierce and Tony Lafo, lieutenants; Malcolm Meyers, Greg Duval and Scott Larson, engineers; Ej Adametz, quartermaster; Michelle Kowal, treasurer; and Mary Adametz, secretary. “It’s been an extremely busy year, and I am thankful for our incredible volunteers who put their own lives on the line and sacrifice their own personal time to help others in the community,” said Chief Baber. “We’re also grateful for our outstanding mutual aid partners. Thanks to everyone for making this a successful year!”