Thursday, July 19, 2018
Opening Day of Convention Spotlights Top First Responders, Including Fallen Trooper
ROCHESTER – Hundreds of wartime veterans took time to posthumously honor a fallen state trooper on the opening day of the New Year State American Legion’s 100th Convention here on Thursday.
Trooper Joel Davis, who was shot and killed a year ago while responding to a report of shots fired at a Jefferson County residence, was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Law and Order Chairman David R. Riley Sr. announced.
“Trooper Davis’ sacrifice upholds the highest traditions of valor and service to the people of New York State,” Riley said.
Trooper Davis was a four-year veteran of the New York State Police and had previously served nearly a decade as a Jefferson County Sherriff’s deputy. Trooper Davis leaves behind His wife, Suzanne, and their children; Trenton, Caden and Jaila.
THE LEGIONNAIRES also honored other top first responders, plus singled out Utica Post 229 as Post of the Year for its outstanding efforts to recognize police officers and firefighters in the City of Utica.
The honorees are:
— Firefighter of the Year: Thomas Edwin Rothdiener, chief of Oriskany Independent Fire & Hose Company in Oneida County. A 40-year member of the fire company, Rothdiener is past president of both the Oneida County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and the Central New York Firemen’s Association. He also serves on committees with the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York and the National Fire Protection Association. Rothdiener “was directly responsible for his fire department receiving the Residential Fire Safety Institute Life Safety Achievement Award, for no loss of life in a structure fire for the past eight years,” Riley noted. He also is a wartime military veteran, and is a member of American Legion Oriskany Post 1448.
— Fire Department of the Year: Canandaigua Fire Department in Ontario County. The department responded to over 1,400 incidents in 2017 — one of those involved an apartment building that was ablaze. “Two of the firefighters demonstrated heroic actions in saving the life of one of the residents,” a quadriplegic who uses a wheelchair. The firefighters were able to find him in the dark apartment and carried him out, and then returned to rescue a small dog from the department. “While these brave firefighters went on to receive Liberty Medals for their actions in the case, they are examples of how all the members of the Canandaigua fire department are committed in dedicating themselves in serving their community to keep it safe,” Riley said. Fire Chief Frank Magnera accepted the award.
– Corrections Officer of the Year: Livingston County Deputy Brenda Clark-Pierson. She revived an unresponsive inmate who appeared to be not breathing and with no pulse. Deputy Clark-Pierson called for assistance, then rendered sternum rubs with no response. “After applying a series of chest compression, the inmate responded and started seizing,” Riley noted. “Deputy Clark-Pierson continued to care for the inmate until EMS arrived and transported the Inmate to the emergency room. The inmate did make a full recovery.”
— Outstanding Post of the Year: Utica Post 229 in Oneida County. Under the guidance of Law and Order Chairman Paul Wojcik, Post 229 conducts recognition dinners twice a year to honor outstanding first responders in the Utica Police Department and the Utica Fire Department. Riley praised Wojcik for leading the post’s Law and Order program for many years.