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Richmond Hill firefighters honored
From left, Richmond Hill Fire Chief Vernon Rushing with firefighters Lee Newton, Joe Forlenza and Randy Monaco. The three men were honored at a recent ceremony at the John W. Stevens Wetlands Center.

The Richmond Hill Fire Department recognized its top firefighters during a recent awards ceremony held at the John W. Stevens Wetlands Center.

City firefighter Joe Forlenza was recognized as career firefighter of the year and firefighter Randy Monaco earned volunteer firefighter of the year. Also recognized was firefighter Lee Newton who was presented with the coveted Fire Chief’s award.

"These firefighters really came through for the department throughout the year and the decision was not hard to make" said Captain Andy Burriss. "Each of them contributed to our department’s success this year."

The career and volunteer firefighter of the year awards are selected by RHFD officers at the end of the calendar year and the Chief’s award is selected by the Fire Chief Vernon Rushing.

"These firefighters contributed to a banner year for the department," said Rushing. The department had its busiest year in its history with more than 1,000 calls that included motor vehicle accidents, structure fires, storm damage mitigation and medical first responder calls according to Rushing.

The fire department also recognized its military veterans during the ceremony by presenting each veteran with an American flag medal which will be worn on the firefighter’s dress uniform. Recognized were veterans Rushing, Air Force; Assistant Chief Skip Tuttle Navy; Newton, Army; Forlenza, Army and Firefighter James Morris, Navy.

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