Honoring Those Who Serve

By Haley Burton

October 10, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The community comes together to remember firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice, retired firefighters and those currently serving.

The Binghamton Fire Department holds its annual mass, breakfast and awards ceremony Wednesday at St. Paul's Catholic Church.

Many firefighters paid tribute to those who lost their lives on duty, retired firefighters and others who continue to serve. People from the community also turned out to pay their respects.

The Fire Department says 21 Binghamton firefighters have died in the line of duty. The first was in 1898 and the last one was Gerald Mullins in 1994.

The annual mass marks National Fire Prevention Week.

"There's a lot of events we do throughout the year. But this is one that's very special to us. It's the opportunity to remember those who went before us, our retirees and and the firefighters today who are presently doing the work," said Chief Daniel Thomas, Binghamton Fire Department.

A breakfast was held after the mass along with an awards ceremony. Four awards were handed out to lifesaving efforts this year to two civilians, one New York State trooper and a Binghamton firefighter.

"Today we had a quite of number of civilians that went above and beyond. Sometimes it's without special training and often times they don't know they are going to be faced with that challenge. When they are, they step forward and do what's necessary," said Chief Thomas, "It makes the community feel good to know there's people out there and ready and willing to help us in our time of need."

In September, Lieutenant Daniel Vail of the Binghamton Fire Department was off-duty and getting ready to go out of town when his neighbor was stung more than 20 times by bees. The man collapsed. Lt. Vail was outside and provided help to his neighbor, gave him an EpiPen until the emergency crews arrived shortly after.

"I'm really happy with the circumstances and the way things turned out for my neighbor, Jim. The condition he was in was pretty serious. I was happy I was able to use my training experience to figure out what was going on. I was able to give him an EpiPen pen which helped him until the ambulance got there," said Lt. Vail.

Adam Green of Binghamton received a Certificate of Recognition. In November 2011, the Fire Department was called to a house fire on Crestmont Road. Green heard the homeowners screaming for help and he went to help. Green grabbed a portable fire extinguisher and kicked in the back door and battled his way toward the kitchen to put out the flames.

"The Duty Chief believed had Adam not acted the house would've been severely damaged," said Chief Thomas.

"I think it's a great idea we honor not only firefighters but those civilians who have helped this year save lives," said Matthew Ryan (D), Binghamton Mayor.

In August 2012, there was motorcycle accident on 81 South. The driver was seriously injured and amputated part of her leg. Upon arrival, crews found the woman to be in the care of off-duty New York State Trooper, Jason Soden. Trooper Soden had helped stop the bleeding in one of her legs. He kept her calm and in the position she was found to protect her spine.

A certificate of recognition was presented to Soden for his efforts.

"There is no doubt Trooper Soden's care positively affected the patient's outcome and greatly reduced the on-scene time of our rescuers," said Chief Thomas.

In August 2012, a car crashed into the Firestone Service Center on Lewis Street in Binghamton. The car crash hit the natural gas meter which caused fire to the building and the car. The flames were 30 feet high in the air.

Carmine Addiego is the Assistant Manager. He went right into action and ran outside with a garden nose. One woman was out of the car but another was trapped. Addiego dove into the burning car to get the driver out safely.

Addiego was presented with a certificate of recognition for his efforts.

"There's no doubt if Carmine had never acted, the driver would have been severely burned or even killed," said Chief Thomas.