UTICA, NY -- Two third generation firefighters were honored by American Legion Post 229 as Emergency Medical Technician of the Year and Firefighter of the Year during ceremonies at the North Utica Post Thursday evening (Dec. 3). The honorees are:
-- EMT of the Year Lt. Mark Ambrose, director of Emergency Medical Services for the Utica Fire Department. With the department for 20 years, he now directs one of the largest EMS operation in upstate New York, with 47 paramedics and 55 EMTs.
-- Firefighter of the Year Daniel Winn, assigned to Station 3 on Mohawk Street. He has been with the Department for eight years.
Ambrose and Winn, both of whose fathers and grandfathers served with New Hartford Volunteer Fire Department, could easily have swapped awards, Fire Chief Russell Brooks noted, because they each have made "numerous rescues and resuscitations."
"We measure them by how they perform everyday," Brooks said. "They have shown courage on the fire ground. They have integrity. They have strong family values. They are role models for younger firefighters coming into the job."
Post Commander Anthony Palladino introduced Paul Wojcik, the post's law and order chair, to present the awards. Wojcik noted that Ambrose was once written up in Firehouse Magazine for running into a burning house four times to rescue children and that Winn volunteered to work in Louisiana for a month in the devastating wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The awards ceremony followed a dinner attended by Legionnaires, auxiliary members, and the families of both honorees. Ambrose and his wife, JoAnne, reside in Whitesboro with their two sons and daughter -- Carmen, 17, Nicholas, 14, and Gabrielle, 9. Winn and his wife, Amanda, live in New Hartford with two sons and two daughters -- Daniel Jr., 9, Marie, 7, Nate, 5, and Jillian, 2.