Police & Fire

Life-saving Bravery of Roxbury Police, Fire and EMS Cited in Awards


ROXBURY, NJ – An organization that honors Morris County emergency responders is presenting awards to Roxbury firefighters, police and first-aid personnel, citing their bravery in dealing with two house fires earlier this year.

The 200 Club of Morris County will be presenting Award of Valor citations next month to Roxbury firefighters Richard Bizzari and Keith Journey for their efforts at a Jan. 23 fire. It is also presenting Meritorious Service Awards to other members of the Roxbury Fire Department, paramedics and  emergency services personnel who responded to the fire.

Additionally, the club is awarding four members of the Roxbury Police Department and a citizen for their response to a fire that took place four days later.

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“On Jan. 23, Roxbury firefighters responding to a fire were told there could be a victim on the second floor,” said a press release announcing the upcoming awards. “Firefighters Richard Bizzari and Keith Journey entered the burning house to search for the occupant and found him face down on the second floor. Other firefighters moved in to assure that Bizzari, Journey and the victim could get out.”

The 200 Club said the victim was quickly treated, once he was removed from the house, by “a team of firefighters, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.” The club said the team “went to work on the victim, who had been face-down, inhaling deadly fire gases and was now barely breathing.”

It said the man made a full recovery because of the team’s efforts. Those on the team receiving Meritorious Service Awards include:

·        Roxbury Fire Department EMS members Pam Karkovice and Dawn Ward

·        Saint Clare’s paramedics Greg Doltz and Christopher Kannaley

·        Stanhope-Netcong American Legion Ambulance Corps members Alan Bookspan and Jennifer Johnson

·        Roxbury firefighters Michael Blewett, Carl Bonafede, Nate Grawher, Matthew Jasiecki, Kelsie Karkovice, Bill Koroski, Amanda Montrose, David Ward Sr., Tyler Blewett, Brian Foote, Kirk Keyes, Gerogry Montose and Thomas Ryan.

“Just four days later, four Roxbury police officers were first on the scene at another house fire after being alerted by passerby Alexis May,” said the 200 Club. “May, a civilian, stopped her car after reporting the fire and went to the home to try to get people out. She informed the dispatcher that there were several cars in the driveway and a wheelchair ramp.”

When police arrived, May told them there was a man in the house who had gone back into the burning structure to save his handicapped wife, said the 200 Club.

“The four officers were able to help the man and his wife escape from the home while coordinating their efforts with firefighters and EMS personnel,” said the club. It said the situation ended with nobody being injured and the house being saved by firefighters.

 Receiving Meritorious Service Awards will be Roxbury Police Sgt. Steve Curtiss, patrolman John Field, patrolman Tom Gaboda and patrolman Jack Sylvester.

For her efforts, May is receiving a special citation, said the club, noting this will be the first year civilians are being honored for assisting police.

The Roxbury recipients are among 30 first-responders from around the county to receive awards at the ceremony, said the 200 Club. The awards dinner will take place April 30 at Birchwood Manor in Whippany. Dinner tickets and sponsorships are available by calling the 200 Club at (732) 279-4258.

“We’re very lucky to have individuals like these keeping us safe here in Morris County,” said Lou Nisivoccia, president of club in the press release. “It’s an honor to recognize their good work.”

The club was founded in 1971 and has distributed more than $4 million in benefits to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services workers and their families.

“Benefits take the form of survivor benefits to the families who have lost a spouse who was a first-responder and scholarships that have been awarded to children of emergency workers in Morris County,” it said. “The organization also recognizes the heroic actions of those who keep the public safe and secure.”

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