SCOTCH PLAINS-FANWOOD, NJ -- The Knights of Columbus of Scotch Plains held its 42 annual awards ceremony for public safety first responders of Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Wednesday, April 26 at its headquarters on 2400 North Ave.
Awards were presented by Seth McQuillan, Grand Knight. The Knights of Columbus Father John Nelligan Council is based at St. Bartholomew the Apostole Church, Scotch Plains, NJ, and gives these awards every year to Fanwood and Scotch Plains police, rescue and fire responders for outstanding service.
Awards were presented in the following order: Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo recognized Lt. Francisco Marrerro and Officer Daniel Piccola for administering Narcan to an individual who overdosed on an opioid. Chief Trigo also recognized Sgt. Marc Gottlick and Officers Dan Kranz, Elliot Bernard and Kevin Stomber (not present) for administering Narcan on two additional occasions, helping two more victims back to consciousness.
Fanwood Rescue Squad President Jeff Downing presented an award to Vice President/Training Officer Patty Buckridee for her 10 years of dedicated service to the Rescue Squad including three years as captain. Fanwood Assistant Fire Chief Steve Szanto presented an award to the entire Fanwood Fire Department for their dedicated service in serving the people of Fanwood. Accepting the award were a number of Fanwood firefighters including Chief John Piccola.
Scotch Plains Police Chief Ted Conley presented awards to Detectives Mark Lynch and Brian Hayeck for solving a rash of burglaries in eight towns in three counties. He also presented an award to Sgt. Jerald Brown for his 19 years of service as an officer, instructor and his involvement with Scotch Plains youngsters.
Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Deputy Chief Carolyn Sorge presented an award to Deputy Chief Christopher Smith for his dedication and diligent service to the Rescue Squad.
Scotch Plains Deputy Fire Chief John Lestarchick presented awards to Chief Jonathan Ellis and Firefighter Douglas Freitag, both of whom are in their 40th year of service with the SPFD. Also present was Fanwood Rescue Squad Treasurer Bob Kruthers who, at age 90, is serving his 60th year of active membership with the Squad. He is also a Knight and is seen wearing his Knights sash. Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr made opening remarks.