Poughkeepsie firefighters honored for saving lives

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Poughkeepsie Fire Department mebers saving a life. Mid-Hudson News file photo

POUGHKEEPSIE – City officials and members of the Poughkeepsie Fire Department gathered on Friday to present the distinguished “Lifesaving Medal” to 10 of the city’s professional firefighters.

The firefighters presented with the Lifesaving Medal were principally involved in saving the life of a civilian through their own personal actions.  The honorees were involved in three incidents over the past 12 months that had positive outcomes for the victims.

Mayor Rob Rolison praised the Poughkeepsie firefighters and told Mid-Hudson News, “The brave men of this department provide the city with an enormous level of safety.  They risk their lives to help those in need and I for one, sleep better at night knowing that our firefighters are ready to go around the clock, every day of the year.”

With regard to the recognition being given to the 10 firefighters, Rolison said, “Our professional firefighters, like most, do not do this dangerous job to get recognition.  The brave Poughkeepsie firefighters never seek praise for their work – they do it out of a sense of service and commitment to the city they serve.  Recognizing their bravery, dedication, and commitment to the city with a brief ceremony is the absolute least we can do for them.”

The Lifesaving Medal was presented to Lieutenant Mark Meyerson, Firefighter RJ Trappe, and Firefighter Michael Mancari for their efforts in reviving a person on October 2, 2021, on College Avenue through the use of CPR and deploying an Automated External Defribulator (AED) resulting in a positive outcome for the patient.

Poughkeepsie FD Firefighter Brian Ineson.

In March of this year, during a substantial snowstorm, Firefighters Brian Ineson, Ed McNiff, Eric Stroka, and Anthony LaRocca were operating at the scene of an accident on Route 44/55 near South Clinton Street.  A pedestrian approached and told them of an unconscious man who had possibly overdosed, on a sidewalk on South Clinton Street who needed attention.  Lieutenant Valentine sent Firefighter Brian Ineson with a medical bag to the unconscious man.  Ineson, battling heavy, unplowed snow, traveled on foot from the accident to the reported victim.  He administered Narcan to the patient with no effect.  After surveying the scene, Ineson quickly realized that the man had suffered a cardiac event as a result of shoveling his sidewalk.  He called for assistance and an AED while performing chest compressions.  Three additional firefighters arrived and began to assist.  Despite the inherent dangers of using the high voltage AED on the victim who was on a wet sidewalk, with snow still falling, they attached the device, backed to a safe distance, and attempted to shock the man’s heart back to rhythm.  Multiple attempts and continued CPR was performed until an ambulance arrived and was able to take the victim and one firefighter working on the victim, to the hospital.  The patient eventually regained consciousness and after several weeks in the hospital, made a full recovery.  For the actions of Ineson and his fellow firefighters, the four men received the Lifesaving Medal.

On April 12, 2022, one of the department’s senior men, Firefighter Tom Davison, and his partner, Firefighter Daniel Richards, responded to Mount Carmel Church for a man reported being unconscious, possibly from a cardiac issue.  The two men responded within three minutes and used CPR and the AED to bring the lifeless man back to consciousness.  The patient recovered and as a result, the two firefighters were awarded the Lifesaving Medal.  Davison and his brother Timothy are both members of the department, having followed their father Jim Davison into the fire service.  Tommy has been on the job for 36 years and this is his fourth lifesaving honor.  The late Jim Davison started in the same department in 1960 and rose through the ranks, becoming chief in 1980 where he served until his 1990 retirement.

Poughkeepsie Fire Department Lieutenant Paul Bucher received the Lifesaving Medal for his actions while on a family vacation in August of this year at Walt Disney World.  Bucher revived a man who was in cardiac arrest by performing vigorous chest compressions while awaiting an AED.  Bucher was able to restart the man’s heart before the EMS crew arrived with the AED.  The Mid-Hudson News story of the event can be found here.