Port Henry firefighter Dain Venne received the Firefighter Commendation Medal for his life saving actions while rescuing several stranded victims during Tropical Storm Lee last August. Venne is currently serving in the Army National Guard based in Afghanistan. His father, Brian Venne, right, accepted the award on his behalf from Chief Jim Hughes.
The Port Henry Fire Department honored a member for heroism during its 138th annual banquet recently.
Dain Venne received the Firefighter Commendation Medal for his life saving actions while rescuing several stranded victims during Tropical Storm Lee last August. Venne is currently serving in the Army National Guard based in Afghanistan. His father, Brian Venne, accepted the award on his behalf to a standing ovation.
Past Chief and current First Assistant Chief Thomas F. Edwards was recognized and presented the Firefighter of the Year Award for 2011. He was presented a statue engraved with his name and a gold uniform medal.
William R. Blood was presented the Rookie of the Year Award for 2011 as selected by the chief officers for his service, attitude and commitment to the department.
A special recognition was extended to John T. “JW” Waldron for responding to 70 of 103 calls in 2011. He was given an engraved Leatherman Tool.
An appreciation award was presented to Laura and Greg Muniz of George’s Restaurant for their support and dedication to the department, especially during the flooding conditions of 2011.
Port Henry Fire Department Members recognized for several years of service included: Richard DeFelice (5 years), George Daly (10), Timothy Boyle (20), William Ball (25), Charles Bryant, Jr. (30), Daniel Bryant (30), Edward Bryant (30), John Hickey (30), Charles Kolodzey (30), Brian Venne (30), Ernest DuRoss (35), Thomas Edwards, Sr. (35), `Joseph Gilbo (35), Lester Daby (52), John Sweet (54), LeRoy Vanderhoof (56) and John “Jack” Waldron (63).
The banquet was held at the King’s Inn in Port Henry. Approximately 65 people attended. Fire Chief Jim Hughes acted as master of ceremonies.
Guests in attendance included Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s North Country Regional Representative Clifford Donaldson; Port Henry Mayor Ernest Guerin and wife, Debbie; Deputy Mayor John Sheldon and wife, Nancy; village trustee Ruth McDonough; Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava; Essex County Emergency Services Director Don Jaquish and wife, Louann; Chief Ralph Jaquish of the Moriah Fire Department and wife; Ruth; Past Chief Paul Tromblee of Mineville-Witherbee Fire Department and wife, Nancy; Chief Adam Wright of the Mineville-Witherbee Fire Department and wife, Danielle; and Captain Lou Paris of the Town of Moriah Ambulance Squad, Inc. and wife, Karen.
New administrative and line officers of the Port Henry Fire Department were recognized — Vice President Peter Cutting, Secretary Gary Badore and Lieutenant Mark McLaughlin.
The Port Henry Fire Department Auxiliary was also present. New officers recognized included President Jeannie Ball, Vice President Laura Muniz, Secretary Erin Prevette and Treasurer Lydia Crison.
Proclamations from Governor Andrew Cuomo marking the achievements of Firefighter Blood and First Assistant Chief Edwards were read and presented by Clifford Donaldson.
In addition, Donaldson read proclamations from Cuomo recognizing guests Moriah Fire Chief Ralph Jaquish for 53 years of service as chief and Past Chief Paul Tromblee for his 17 years of service to the Mineville-Witherbee Fire Department.
Following the dinner and awards DJ Mike “Doc” Vilardo provided music throughout.
“This event proved to be a night rich in tradition, enjoyment, and entertainment for all firefighters, their wives, invited and distinguished guests,” Hughes said.