Andover firefighters and a local police detective will be among the 41 members of area police and fire departments honored next week by the Exchange Club of Lawrence at its annual Public Safety Awards Dinner. The event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Wyndham Hotel in Andover, beginning with a social hour at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7.
“This is one of our most important events,” event chairman Rick Blain said in a release. “We are thrilled to recognize such deserving men and women, people who routinely put the safety and well-being of others ahead of their own.”
Andover Fire Department units will be honored for their efforts to extricate a man who was trapped under an 18-wheeler on Lupine Road last February.
While the man lost his leg as a result of the severity of his injuries, officials say his successful extrication by firefighters and other personnel working together as a team has allowed him to go on to learn to walk again with the aid of a prosthetic leg and drive the same type of tractor-trailer units he was trapped under last year.
The honorees are:
Central Station, Unit 1: Deputy Chief James Dolan, Lts. Terrence Retelle and Todd Pomerleau, firefighters Clifford Pattullo, Thomas Kennedy and Michael Oteri, firefighters/emergency medical technicians Robert Murphy and Kevin Farragher.
Ballardvale Station, Unit 1: Lt. John Ronan and firefighters Shawn Kelley and Donald Hinckley
West Station, Unit 1: Lt. Robert Dalton, firefighters Ernest Vocell and Todd Collins, firefighters/emergency medical technicians Christopher Morgese and David Pas
In addition, police Det. Kevin Aufiero will be recognized for his role in the investigation of a series of car breaks in November that led to the arrest of a suspect and recovery of two high-powered rifles stolen from an FBI SWAT emergency-response vehicle parked in Andover.
Aufiero, working in conjunction with State Police and the FBI, processed the cars involved. As part of that work, he lifted fingerprints from two of the vehicles that matched a Lawrence teenager in a database, which led investigators to that suspect the next day. The suspect, a juvenile, was arrested and a Colt M16-A1 rifle and HS Precision Pro-Series 2000 Sniper Rifle that were taken in one of the breaks were recovered.
Tickets for the Exchange Club of Lawrence awards dinner are $25. The public is invited. For reservations or more information, contact Blain at 978-332-5100 or email@example.com. Visit www.lawrenceexchangeclub.org for more information.