Patricia Schmedes Murray of Atlantic Highlands places a flower at the foot of the Monmouth County Fallen Firefighters Memorial in remembrance of her father, Francis Schmedes, who died in the line of duty in 1974.
“Nothing serves as a more vivid reminder of the sacrifices firefighters make than the recent 10-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our country,” Curley said in his remarks. “Now, after a decade of reflection on the events of that terrible morning, we can fully appreciate the degree to which firefighters everywhere place their lives in danger. We thank you for your service.”
“I would like to thank each and every one of you for your service to your towns and this county,” said Freeholder Amy A. Mallet, who also attended. “It takes real dedication and a commitment to making your community safer that allows you to spend time away from your loved ones so that you can be involved in such a dangerous, but necessary activity to protect our lives and property.”
Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley helps carry a wreath toward the Monmouth County Fallen Firefighters Memorial during a ceremony held at the Fire Academy on Oct. 2.
The memorial and awards ceremony was led by the Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office, and included laying of a wreath in honor of the 43 firefighters from
After honoring the fallen, Curley and Fire Marshal Henry Stryker awarded Unit Citations and Medals of Valor for rescue and firefighting efforts during the past year.
“They are all special and dedicated individuals,” Stryker said. “They are firefighters who, without hesitation, leave the safety and security of their families, homes and places of work and answer the call – often placing their own lives on the line while working to save the lives and property of others. These firefighters are truly heroes and we honor them and cheer for them.”
“These men and women have exemplified and upheld the proud traditions of the fire service, and we are very glad to have them protecting us,” Curley said. “Firefighters are a very special breed of public servant, and are grateful to you and your families for your efforts.”
The local Fallen Firefighters Memorial Services coincided with the 30th National Fallen Firefighters Memorial weekend that was held in
Unit Citations were awarded to the following:
- Matawan Fire Department, for a rescue at a motor vehicle accident with fire and entrapment on
April 12, 2010. Cited were Chief Timothy Clifton, Assistant Chief Carl Boomer, Capt. Peter Rivera and Firefighters Ronald Protokowicz and Anthony Castro.
- Sandy Hook Fire Department, for a water rescue of three people on
June 9, 2010, in which a boat overturned tossing occupants into rough seas. Cited were Acting Fire Chief Tim Regan, Assistant Chief Kevin Heuser, and Firefighters Robert Louden, Peter Tortorell, Patrick Strang, Alexander Krstevski and Ted Johnson.
- Wayside Fire Company, for a rescue on the
Garden State Parkwayon May 3, 2011, in which a victim who was thrown from the vehicle was revived during CPR.
- Firefighter Robert McDonald of the Unexcelled Fire Company, Neptune, for his actions assisting three injured occupants from a burning vehicle before extinguishing the fire himself.
fire official John Beslanovitz, for his work collecting personal protective firefighting equipment for the people of Hazlet Township in Uruguay South America.
- Firefighter John C. Edwards of the New Point Comfort Fire Co. in Keansburg, for his actions while performing a rescue operation at a structure fire in Neptune City. While at work he noticed a fire inside a camper parked between two homes. After reporting the fire he evacuated the residents of the two homes as the fire began to spread.
- Firefighter Edward Skelly of the Middletown Fire Department, who on March 16, 2011 successfully removed a suicidal person who had ignited materials and barricaded himself inside his home.
Certificates of Recognition
- Freehold Township Police Officers, for entering a burning apartment and rescuing and reviving an elderly victim who was found unconscious on the floor with no pulse. Cited were Detective William Holohan and Police Officers William Ketelaar and Michael Smith.