Post 47 Awards 9/11 Medals of Merit to Holliston First Responders

September 11, 2022, fell on a Sunday and American Legion Post 47 returned to the Upper Town Hall for its annual awards ceremony.

A large crowd assembled in the Upper Town Hall. The awards and the breakfast offerings drew family and friends for this important recognition ceremony.

Newly elected Post 47 Commander Ron Turcotte welcomed everyone to this year’s ceremony. He doubled as Chaplain and gave a prayer of remembrance and thanks for those who watch over us at home, day and night.

Twenty-two medals ready for distribution.
Above, Select Board Chair Ben Sparrell (second from left) and Select Board Clerk Tina Hein (two right of Ben) are joined by Town Administrator Travis Ahern (two to the right of Tina) joined the awardees and family.
Susan Nicholl, representing State Senate Spilka, brought the Senator’s gratitude and congratulations to this year’s recipients.
Select Board Chair Sparrell spoke on behalf of the Town thanking those who serve and protect our community 24/7.
Post 47 Immediate Past Commander Steve Bradford provided some historical perspective to this award ceremony and acted as emcee for the awards presentations.
HFD Deputies Moore and Dellicker (representing Chief Cassidy) awarded Medals of Merit to FF/EMT Dylan Mahoney (second from right) and EMT Thomas Dunlay (far right)

“On Thursday, December 2, 2021, the ambulance responded to a medical emergency at CVS Pharmacy for a 9-1-1 report of a customer who had collapsed, with a pharmacist having started CPR. EMT Dunlay, who was on duty and at the station, responded to the scene in the ambulance, arriving between several police cruisers. FF/EMT Mahoney was off duty but responded directly to the scene in his personal vehicle.  Members of the Holliston Fire Department, working alongside first responders from the Holliston Police Department and a paramedic from Events EMS, performed resuscitative efforts; achieving ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) prior to the arrival of ALS intercept from Medway Fire.

This incident is an example of both the success of our tiered system of response and the out-of-hospital Chain of Survival: Recognition of cardiac arrest and activation of the emergency response system, early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) with an emphasis on chest compressions, rapid defibrillation, advanced resuscitation by Emergency Medical Services and other healthcare providers, post-cardiac arrest care, and recovery.”

FF Gregg Lewis (second from right), FF/EMT Philip Robshaw (far right)
Post 47 member William Whittingham assisted the Deputies with the medal presentation

“On Monday, May 16, 2022, the fire department responded to a 9-1-1 report of a structure fire on Rolling Meadow Drive. FF Lewis and FF/EMT Robshaw, who are both skilled tradesmen, were working separately nearby and responded directly to the scene in their personal vehicles. Using a garden hose within reach, these firefighters were able to begin suppression efforts on the exterior of the home prior to the arrival of fire apparatus.

Their early application of water, combined with their size-up provided to the incident commander allowing him to make key tactical decisions, likely made the difference between a deck fire with some extension into the attic, and what could have been a whole house fire.

This incident highlights the benefit of our on-call staffing model; trained firefighters are embedded in the community as they go about their work and family obligations throughout the week, and able to respond in a moment’s notice to the needs of their neighbors.”

Officer Ethan Coakley (second from right), SGT John Remkus (far right).
Post 47 Adjutant Walter McGrath assisted HPD Chief Stone to distribute the medals.

“For actions taken on the evening of September 15th, 2021, when they successfully disarmed a man who was experiencing a mental health episode and threatened the use of violence against the officers and others.”

Officer Scott Downey (third from right), Officer Bryan DiGiorgio (second from right), and Officer Alexander Keefe (far right)
Officer Timothy Heney was absent from the award presentation.

“For their life saving efforts on the morning of December 2, 2021.”

Officer Ryan Parent (third from right), Officer David Charette (second from right), and SGT John Remkus.
Officer Charles Grace was absent from the award presentation.

“For professional police work on the night of March 9, 2022, when they took a knife wielding domestic violence suspect into custody without incident.”

Office Michael Woods (sixth from right), Officer John Loftus (fifth from right), Officer Bryan DiGiorgio (fourth from right), SGT Kenneth Belson (third from right), SGT Matthew Waugh (second from right), and Dispatcher James Ray.
Detective Ciara Maguire and Detective Christopher Avey were absent from the award presentation.
HPD Chief Stone followed the last award and spoke about how each of the brief write ups for these emergency situations may seem straightforward, but each interaction is complex requiring thorough training and sound judgement.
Holliston’s Finest are joined by Commander Turcotte and Past Commander Bradford.

Outside Town Hall our flag flew at half-staff reminding us of that terrible day twenty-one years ago. We thank first responders everyone who unselfishly serve their fellow citizens.

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Chris Cain

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