Rescue Squad Honors Members For 2023 Service


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The Verona Rescue Squad honored its members for their service during 2023 at an event earlier today.

There were Milestone awards for career calls given to Joseph Priori (106 calls), Julie French (109), Michael Costa (111), Elizabeth Curtis (113), Nicholas Polder (139), Amelia Nizoliek (143), Kathleen Hopkins (157), Julia Pennella (170), Thea Bilbili (212) and Jason Siegelin (255).

David Trail and Daniel Valentine topped the 500 call level, with 505 and 738 calls respectively. Nancy Wands and John Stephens topped 1,000 calls, with 1,040 and 1,059 responses and VRS Chief Cassandra Jung passed the 1,500 level with 1,601 calls.

Fifteen VRS members (many pictured above) responded to 100 calls or more in 2023 alone, including Thea Bilbili, Karen Blasi-Blinder, Andrew Burger, Elizabeth Curtis, Susan Del Rosso, David Held, Cassandra Jung, Thomas Jung, Julia Pennella, Nicholas Polidoro, Jason Siegelin, Frederick Tempesta, Gavin Tremper and Daniel Valentine, who responded to 327 calls.

Some of the many VRS members who responded to the July 3, 2023 fire at the Claridge II condominium

Members were honored for two CPR saves, a difficult technical rescue and their response to the fire at the Claridge II condominium last July 3, which required a complete evacuation of the building, as well as attention to the responding firefighters in the heat. There were also awards for five years of service (David Conlon, Gavin Tremper and Philip Chivily), and 10 years (Mark Fahy and Tom Jung).

The President’s Award was presented to Julia Pennella, the Chiefs Award to Jason Siegelin and Nicholas Polidoro earned Rookie Of The Year. Andrew Burger (below) was named Member Of The Year.

The Verona Rescue Squad is an all-volunteer nonprofit that provides emergency medical services in Verona free of charge 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. The VRS, which responded to 1,348 calls in 2023, is sustained by donations from residents, businesses and others.

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