Chamber Of Commerce Honors Bravest And Finest
The Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways hosted its annual Bravest and Finest Luncheon this week at Russo’s on the Bay in Howard Beach. The event honors exemplary efforts of Rockaway’s emergency responders. 100 Precinct Officer Alex Smith was honored by the chamber and Deputy Inspector Tom Barrett. In May 2009 after being shot at near the Hammel Houses, Smith exercised restraint in not firing back because a group of children were nearby. Instead he chased the gunman through backyards and over fences until he apprehended the individual. 101 Precinct Police Officer Shaquan Harvin, with more than 500 career arrests is awarded by new 101 Precinct Captain Michael Lipetri. Out of those 500 arrests none may have been more important than the arrest he once made for weapon possession in which the suspect was required to submit a DNA sample. It turns out the DNA from the string of rapes in Arverne last year matched the DNA from that gun arrest. EMS Commanding Officer for Battalion 47, Nancy Gilligan. EMS workers were honored for assisting a trapped surfer who landed on a jetty and broke his legs last August. Awarded were Paramedic James Verspoor, Paramedic Thomas McCarthy, EMT William Rush, EMT Wayne Young, and Lt. Louis Cook. 100 Precinct Deputy Inspector Tom Barrett presents former 100 Precinct field intelligence officer Sergeant Brian Stamm, who left the precinct in February, with his award. Transit District 23 Captain Phylis Byrne awards Police Officer Frederick Williams for his breakup of a late night sexual assault on the Beach 67 Street train platform on June 9, 2009 that saved a woman from being raped. Ira Seplow (left) and John Lepore of the Chamber of Commerce of the Rockaways, welcome the crowd comprised mostly of area police, fire and EMS personnel. Battalion Chief Tom O’Neill speaks at the luncheon. O’Neill, a 29-year veteran of the FDNY, will be retiring this year. From left to right: John Lepore, Firefighter Matthew Kempton, Battalion Chief Michael McGrath, and Ira Seplow. Kemptom, of Engine 268, is an armed forces veteran as well, who has been deployed overseas four times since 2002. From left to right: Lepore, Battalion Chief Tom O’Neill, Battalion Chief Michael McGrath, and Ira Seplow. Firefighters Randy Eichen and William Burns were honored for saving two people after their sailboat overturned in Jamaica Bay 150 yards from the shore. New York City Councilmember Eric Ulrich attended the luncheon. From left to right: John Lepore, Firefighter Casey Skudin, Battalion Chief Michael McGrath, and Ira Seplow. Skudin, a former lifeguard, rescued a man in the waters off Beach 96 Street last November during the nor’easter storm. From left to right: John Lepore, FDNY Captain Frank Piarulli, Battalion Chief Michael McGrath, and Ira Seplow. Piarulli was honored for his many years of service to the department. Firefighter Casey Skudin talks to the crowd at Russo’s on The Bay.
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