Bay City 'Firefighter Of The Year' Recognized 9-15-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Bay City 'Firefighter Of The Year' Recognized 9-15-2010

They are the men and women who put their lives on the line every time they go to work, and on Wednesday, those heroes from the Bay City Fire Department received a special salute for their contributions to the community.
The Bay City firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty, several of which date back to the early 1900s, were saluted for their ultimate sacrifice.
They were also honored for special achievements during the past year.
"We honor just a few of the guys during the ceremony. Each and every one of them deserves to be recognized for their work," said Bay City Fire Chief Gregory Michalek. "They're a team, they are special, and they are all good people."
Citizens who go above and beyond the line of duty in emergency situations were also honored. Lindi Meyer, her husband Joe and Chad Forester helped save the life of a motorcyclist who was a total stranger.
"It's just what you do," said Meyer. "Someone needed help and we happened to be there."
The Firefighter of the Year award went to Leon Leszczynski for his "work efforts, his work ethic, his dedication and his leadership," said Michalek.
"It's an honor to be recognized by my peers, but this award is really all about the guys that I work with who help me make things happen. It's really about them," Leszczynski said.
The firefighters said they appreciated being recognized for their efforts, but say the real reward comes when they are able to go to work to the job they love so much.
Here is a list of other awards that were handed out during the ceremony:
Certificate of Merit: Helping an injured motorcyclist, a life saving effort
  • Chad Forester
  • Lindi Meyer
  • Joe Meyer

Certificate of Merit #2: Spotted flames coming from a home got the residents out by waking them.
  • Ashley Grant
  • Darryl Socia
  • Jerry Socia

Special Service Award: Alan Ruegsegger -- Donated two semi box trailers that will be modified and equipped for specialized rescue training.
Special Service Award: Lori Jameson -- Preparing and shipping "care" packages for troops overseas.
Special Service Award: David Jankowiak -- Firefighter who took a leave from department and went into military to serve as a Black Hawk chopper pilot.
Unit Citation: Capt. James Pieknik, Safety Officer Robert Phillips, Firefighter John Case -- Saving a mans life trapped under a huge pile of lumber
Unit Citation: Saving two men from the frozen Saginaw River:
  • Battalion chief Karey Prieur
  • Lt. Richard Kozuch
  • Lt. Wm. Boettger
  • Engineer Terry Collins
  • Engineer Lawrence Gillman
  • Firefighter Ryan Rau
  • Firefighter Chad Seley

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