PLYMOUTH - Five members of the Terryville Volunteer Fire Department were honored Tuesday night for their role in rescuing a man from a house fire last June.
Mayor David Merchant gave out plaques at the Town Council meeting to Deputy Chief Greg Cody, Captain Scott Milliken, and Firefighters Alan Dominy, Frank Wollman and John Hawes.
“How fortunate we are in this community to have a volunteer fire department. I can tell you from the bottom of my heart how proud I am as a citizen of this community to have this fire department represent us,” Merchant said.
The fire was reported at 5:10 a.m. at 86 Main St., a three-family house next door to Town Hall. Merchant described how the firefighters set up a ladder and climbed to the second floor to carry the man to safety. The man was taken to Bristol Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The rescued man “would not have made it out of this house alive, if it wasn’t for the heroics of the Terryville Fire Department,” Merchant said. “As this rescue was taking place the fire was being fought by the other firefighters, without regard to their personal safety.”
Merchant also praised the firefighters’ response to a fatal accident scene at Town Hill and Cross roads in late July, in which a teenage boy was killed and several others injured, as well as an accident on North Street in August in which a man was extricated from an SUV and taken to the hospital by LifeStar helicopter.
“It sends shivers up my spine every time I think about some of the things you guys do. It’s amazing, some of the things you see at scenes, some of the things that you do,” Merchant said. “This community can’t give you enough words to express the gratitude we have for you.”
The fire department volunteers are “heroic every day,” said Fire Chief Mark Sekorski.
When they leave their homes to go to a fire they never know if one of them could get hurt or worse, but their rigorous training kicks in to keep them safe, Sekorski said.
With all the traffic on Route 6, Sekorski said he always worries that a fire truck will be involved in an accident.
“It has happened in the city of Waterbury a couple of times,” he said. “It could happen very easily, because someone is not paying attention, somebody texting on a phone, that’s what goes through our minds. The biggest thing is to make sure that everybody that responds to any scene goes home safely to their loved ones.”
“Just remember this, there’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer,” Sekorski added.
Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or firstname.lastname@example.org.