Croton Falls Fire Department hosts annual Inspection Dinner

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The Croton Falls Fire Department held its Inspection Dinner Friday, May 6 at Salem Golf Club in North Salem. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

The Croton Falls Fire Department held its Inspection Dinner Friday night at Salem Golf Club in North Salem. The annual event honors department members for their service to the community. The festive night was attended by CFFD members, representatives from neighboring towns' volunteer fire departments, North Salem emergency services organizations and town leadership, including North Salem town supervisor Warren Lucas and members of the town board.



The evening began with an introduction from fire commissioner Bob Daros. Daros introduced Angleo D’Agostino, chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners, who asked attendees to observe a moment of silence for deceased CFFD members Wayne Outhouse, Mike Mongiello, Sr., Chris Richie and Erin McCaffrey. Outhouse, Mongiello and Richie all passed away earlier this year. The trio served a combined 145 years of service to the department. 

Croton Falls Fire Department commissioner Bob Daros speaks to attendees at the Inspection Dinner. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

CFFD chiefs Sean Partenio and Paul D’Agostino presented service awards. 

CFFD Chief Sean Partenio presents a plaque to member Richard Gallagher. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

They first honored ex-chief Richard Gallagher for his 65 years of service. 

Members of the Croton Falls Fire Department congratulate Richard Gallagher for his award, honoring 65 years of service to the department. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

Gallagher received a standing ovation for his decades of dedication to the department.

Next, Partenio and D'Agostino recognized members who had responded to 100 or more emergency calls in the previous year. Ex-chief John Blauvelt was the top responder with a total of 503 calls.

Firefighters of the year were Justin Werner and Tyler Sandor. Werner was acknowledged for his exceptional work ethic. 

Lieutenant Justin Werner was named Croton Falls Firefighter of the Year for 2021. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)

Sandor was named probationary firefighter of the year.

Photo by Benjamin Allen, HudValley Photo

During the dinner, an emergency call came through, interrupting the clang of silverware and laughter among guests. The entire room fell silent as members, first responders through and through, picked up their phones and waited to hear the call from dispatch. It was a commercial alarm, and two members immediately jumped from their seats and left the dinner to respond to the call.

Bob Daros presented an appreciation award to Walter McKenney, a 46-year member. Of Mckenney, Daros said, “it’s rare that there’s an event that he’s not at. Every drill, every meeting, every parade.” McKenney’s daughter Kathleen accepted the award on her father’s behalf.

The inspection trophy was awarded to the firehouse with the cleanest apparatus. In the days and weeks leading up to the dinner, CFFD members from the Croton Falls Sun Valley Road firehouse competed with their counterparts from the North Salem Titicus Road firehouse to see who could produce the most meticulously cleaned apparatus. The North Salem firehouse emerged victorious for their cleanup of Engine 149, a 22-year-old rig.

Croton Falls Fire Department vice president Josh Leicht was pleasantly surprised to learn that his North Salem firehouse won the Inspection Award for Engine 149. (Benjamin Allen / HudValley Photo)
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