Sean O’Neill named Firefighter of the year.

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Allentown Fire Fighter Sean O’Neill was named the 2012 City of Allentown Fire Fighter of the Year during Allentown Fire Department’s annual memorial and awards service held on October 12th in City Council Chambers as part of Fire Prevention Month.

Fire Fighter O’Neill is being honored for his overachieving work ethic and dedication throughout his entire 12 year career. O’Neill is a member as well as an instructor of the Technical Rescue Special Team which deals with rope and high angle rescues.  He also instructs at the Allentown Fire Academy teaching new recruits and department members water rescue and water survival. O’Neill was instrumental in the building of the department’s roof simulator for new recruits to train on roof operations. He is credited with always seeking out new training and ideas for the fire service, with being up to date on new technologies, and maintaining the city’s equipment as if it were his own.

Fire Chief Bob Scheirer said, “I am very proud of all the members of this department. We are now a very young department with many dedicated and well trained individuals who are all developing the qualities necessary to be firefighter of the year. Each year the decision of who shall receive the award gets harder and harder as the members of this department consistently go above and beyond. Their dedication is truly appreciated.”

Mayor Ed Pawlowski told the firefighters in attendance, “It is important that every year we take the time to applaud what you do. You have demonstrated the highest skill and professional achievement in your field. The people of Allentown appreciate your service.”

Also honored at the ceremony:

Fire Fighter Mike Taylor received the Alfred W. Fischl Fire Service Award for 27 years of dedication and outstanding service to the department and citizens of Allentown.

Firefighters Dustin Grow and Mike Matchette were honored for heroism for their actions during a boarding house fire on N. Seventh Street, locating and removing two victims out of the structure.

Unit citations for the N. Seventh Street fire were awarded to Battalion Chief James Wehr, Lieutenants James Kutz, Jamie Miranda, Jason Custer, James Saylor and Chris Gerencher and Fire Fighters Roger Scheirer, Joseph Kemmerer, Jeremy Nyemscek, Vince Kidd, William Warren, Adam Perrault, Mike Brosky, William Gauntner, Mike Milkovitz, Steve Munsch, James Alpha, Craig McGinnis, Mike Taylor, James Wesco, Dustin Grow, Mike Matchette, Brendan Harding and Kevin Cannon.

Unit citations were awarded for a multiple-unit structure fire in the 800 block of N 8th Street on August 23. Those recipients are: Battalion Chief James Wehr; Captains Christian Williams and William Held; Lieutenants Jack Bryant, Dave Arner, James Saylor, Mark Trumbore, Robert Xander, Mike Smith, Jeremy Warmkessel, Bryce Thompsen, Jason Custer, Mike Pychinka, Paul Heckenberger and Peter Lenig; Fire Marshal Mike Lenig; and Fire Fighters Wadiah Atiyeh, James Alpha, Dustin Grow, Todd Weisel, Kevin Frantz, Jason Tatum, Leroy Bachert, Eric Sommers, Joseph Zimmerman, Martin Danks, Kirk Cressley, Aaron Pychinka, Mike Achey, Steve Foulke, Roger Scheirer, Kevin Cannon, Vince Kidd, Ronald Conway, Christopher Williams, Phillip Lathrop , Mike Bryant, Andrew Bausher, Mike Taylor, Nick Koedyker, William Warren, Jody Mongilutz, Paul Taus, William Gauntner, Mike Milkovitz, Mike Brosky, Adam Arndt, Craig McGinnis, Sam Vassallo and Mike Zellin.

Unit citations were awarded for actions on April 18 when a large-scale brush fire on South Mountain  threatened homes along Skyline Drive. Those recipients are: Captain William Held; Lieutenants Jeremy Warmkessel, Mark Kresge, Jason Custer, Mike Pychinka, Paul Heckenberger, Mark Trumbore, Thomas Rychnovsky, Peter Lenig, James Kutz and Jack Bryant; and Fire Fighters Andrew Bausher, Mike Taylor, Robert Brett, Mike Matchette, Jody Mongilutz, Chad Long, Paul Taus, Mike Kostick, Nick Koedyker, William Gauntner, Mike Milkovitz, Leroy Bachert, Phillip Lathrop, Danny Werkheiser, Mike Brosky, Andrew Perrault, Adam Arndt, Sam Vassallo, Jeremy Bellois, Craig McGinnis, William Henry, Onyx Reyes, Mike Humes, Mike Zellin, Randy Krause, Matthew Eharth and Vince Kidd.

The Good Samaritan award was given to Firefighter Jason Janis for his actions on June 23, reviving a soldier in his National Guard unit who had gone into cardiac arrest by quickly administered CPR, reviving the soldier and saving his life.

Service pins for the completion of 20 years of service in the Allentown Fire Department were presented to Lieutenant Thomas Rychnovsky and Fire Marshal Mike Lenig.

Mayor Pawlowski’s Latinos Moving Forward

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Mayor Pawlowski with Linda Chavez-Thompson, LMF Board members and award recipients

Mayor Ed Pawlowski hosted the 4th annual LATINOS MOVING FORWARD event on Friday, October 5th at the Holiday Inn Center City Allentown.  The event attracted over 500 community leaders and citizens who celebrated all facets of Latino Heritage, including food, dance, and music.

Linda Chavez-Thompson, former Executive Vice-President of the AFL-CIO, and the first Latina to hold that position, was the keynote speaker.  Chavez-Thompson is also the current Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Way of America.

Juan Orta, Founding member of Latinos Moving Forward and Linda Chavez-Thompson

“We’re honored to have such a distinguished Latina be a part of this event,” said Mayor Pawlowski.  “She is a shining example of what can be accomplished in America through hard work, whether you are a man or a woman, Latino or not.  This is a woman who began working in a cotton field at age 10, and now is one of the most accomplished and respected women in the country.  She serves as an inspiration to us all.”

Awards were given out to community leaders and organizations that have exemplified the cooperative spirit and achievement that has produced the revitalization of Allentown.  Those receiving awards were:

LMF Business Award

 Alvaro Diaz

LMF Government Award

Allentown Councilwoman Cynthia Mota

LMF Community Awards

Casa Guadalupe,   The Caring Place