Awards, memorials and good food dished out at Annual Fireman’s Installation Dinner

MILLBROOK — With great food catered by Maura’s Kitchen,  and a full roster of awards to be given out for various services, the Annual Millbrook Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 Installation Dinner promised a festive night out for firemen, the rescue squad, families and guests.

The Reverend Thomas Fiet, of Lyall Memorial Federated Church gave the invocation, thanking the members of the both companies for all that they do for the community. The Rescue Squad is celebrating their 75th year of service to Millbrook and Town of Washington.

The Installation of the Officers is always a proud moment, and with the help of Millbrook’s mayor, Tim Collopy, the officers were sworn in. They are; Civil Officers, President, Matt Rochfort, Vice President and Acting Secretary, Kara Granger, and Treasurer, Shelley Hollingsworth.  Line officers are Chief, Edward “Ted” Bownas; Deputy Chief Dominic Boscardin, Assistant Chief, Ken Walsh.  The Captain is Ted Granger, 1st Lieutenant is Roland  Burlingame and 2nd Lieutenant is Tim Race, Jr. There  are 31 active firefighters on the squad.

Rescue Squad Officers are; Assistant Chief, Laurie Olson, Captain and Acting Secretary Kim Bownas. 1st Lieutenant is Kevin Duncan and Treasurer is Laura Palmer.

The Auxiliary; Jodi Swart, President, Debbie Wheeler, Vice President, Secretary, Lynn Swart and Treasurer is Alison Hults.

The Board of Directors are; Chairperson, Peggy Mulligan; Leo Abbruza, Allen Meyer, Robin Horan and Jodi Swart.

   The awards are always a special part of the evening, and this year was no exception. For years of service, Mickey Prisco, 55 years; 50 years, Leroy Swart and Guy Farrington. For 20 years, Rob Cross, and five years, Corey Santiago.

Auxiliary Awards; 25 years of Service, Debbie Wheeler and 20 Years of Service, Kara Granger and Peggy Mulligan.

The Augustine Rotunno Award for Lifetime Achievement for portraying a positive impact in the enhancement of the overall mission of the MFD was given to Rose Galente.

The Lynn Karn Memorial Award, with the recipient being chosen by the members, is given to an active member who exemplifies the dedication, tradition and spirit shown by Lynn in his 33 years of service. The vote resulted in a tie. Honored were Terry Donoghue and Dominic Boscardin..

The Bert Roberts Award is given in memory of Roberts for his 33 years as active service as a line officer, a civil officer and active firefighter. This award was presented to Terry Donoghue.

The Millbrook Fire Department honored several people who had passed in 2022, including Kathy Meyers, a Charter Member of the  Auxiliary who joined in 1978; Nancy Perkins, a long-time supporter who was made an Honorary Life Member in 2010; and Ed Shaughnessy who joined the Rescue Squad in 1982 and served as 1st Lieutenant from April 991-January 1993, who passed away recently, on April 2, 2022.

Especially poignant was the memory of Ed Olson, of the  East Clinton Fire Department from 1968 until his death on Feb. 10, 2022. He was a Scout Leader for 31 years for Millbrook Troop 31, and among the attendees were six active firefighters who earned their Eagle Scout Badges under the tutelage of Olson.

Looking at the honorees and active members there are many familiar names; they have long served, and for some it’s a family tradition.  There is always a need for volunteers, as fire fighters, on the rescue squad and as Auxiliary members. There are far fewer volunteers today than there were even ten years ago, but they are still very much needed.   

Donations are also welcomed; as the only fundraiser slated, the much-loved and eagerly awaited  Fireman’s Carnival lost its home when the Thorne Building became a 501(c)(3) and is currently being renovated in hopes of becoming a community center. Instead, this year look for a Block Party and Parade given by the MFD  on Friday, July 8 and Saturday, July 9 at the firehouse.

The dinner of shrimp, salad, fish and prime rib, side dishes and apple cobbler with ice cream is over, the bar is closed and the  awards given out. The celebration and awards are over for this year, but the work these dedicated men and women perform is ongoing.

The Millbrook Fire Department thanked Mutual Aid neighbors Amenia, Dover, East Clinton, Pleasant Valley, Stanfordville, Union Vale and Wassaic. The communities of Millbrook and Town of Washington are ever grateful for the ongoing services provided by the Millbrook Fire Department, Rescue Squad and Auxiliary.

Fireman Terry Donoghue holds two of the awards he received at the Fireman’s Dinner. Photo by Judith O’Hara Balfe

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