Bonnie Lopez, Steve Zologa, Peter Schrafft, Bethany Hill, Mike Bradford, James Hill, FF of the Year Gary Shults, Fire Officer of the Year Anthony Cervassi, Chief’s award recipient and life saver’s award Chip Delarda, Keith Orell, Dan Lazarz, Henry Porier, and Chief Goodale
On Sunday, June 12, 2016, the Upton Fire/EMT Department gathered in front of the Firefighter-EMT Memorial at Lakeview Cemetery in Upton to honor past members of the Department during their annual Fireman’s Sunday Memorial Ceremony. After the ceremony members and their families were invited back to the Fire Station for a cookout where Firefighters and EMTs were recognized for their service.
“Paramedic James Earle was the person in charge of the event and deserves the lion’s share of the credit for its success,” said Upton Fire/EMS Chief Ron Goodale. “He did an outstanding job coordinating the event. It was a great day,” he said.
The lunch was prepared by Chef De Jour John Ayotte which the Fire and EMS Association graciously paid for, said Earle.
The ceremony began by honoring Retired Chief Robert Prentiss for his past and continuing role at the Fire Department. Prentiss has devoted over 70 years of both active and inactive duty and received a Commendation Bar for 70 Years of Service. “Even today he remains active taking on small projects and holding committee chairs,” Earle said.
Three Retirees were honored with custom engraved ceremonial axes; Retired Captain Phil McClure, who had served the department since 1969. Retired Lt. Steve Zologa who had served the department since 1989 and Retired Lt. Keith Orrell who was with the department since 1985.
Firefighter Gary Shults was awarded Firefighter of the Year. “Gary was nominated for his dedication to the department and his work with our Explorer program,” Earle said. “Gary devotes many hours to this department and is a leader day in and day out.”
EMT of the year was Paramedic Kerry Stoopack. “Kerry was instrumental in starting the ALS program in Upton and when she isn’t working as an emergency room nurse, Kerry covers many open shifts and has spent many sleepless nights providing ALS coverage to the town of Upton,” said Earle.
Fire Officer of the Years went to FF/EMT Anthony Cervassi. “In the unfortunate absence of Lt. Shaun Marchand, Tony had to step up and lead Company 4,” Earle said. “FF Cervasi followed right in Lt. Marchand’s footsteps supporting his company on every overnight call, participating himself in many challenging medicals, traumas, and fire calls throughout the year.”
Chris “Chip” Delarda, who was acknowledged for his efforts at a cardiac arrest on August 28th 2015 with the Life Saver’s Award. “His efforts, combined with the efforts of the Upton police and fire departments resulted in a successful resuscitation of a man that later returned to his home with no deficits,” Earle said.
Chip was also the recipient of the Chief’s Award. “The Chief’s award recognizes an individual for extraordinary efforts throughout a year based on the needs of the department,” Earl said. “Chip filled many extra shifts, has remained a leader among both the paramedics and Firefighters here in Upton,” he said. “Chip is the kind of paramedic that other paramedics call when they need assistance and has the ability to remain collected through the most arduous of calls.”
Service awards were given to those who have served the department from a range of five to forty-five years.