Hero Awards

The 100 Club of Buffalo holds multiple annual events every year in order to support our local community support activities.

2005 HEROES AWARDS RECIPIENTS

Karen Krytus, Rural / Metro Medical Services Paramedic
Dennis Wellspeak, Rural / Metro Medical Services
Paramedic Jason Van Dewater, Rural / Metro Medical Services Intermediate AEMT
Beth Moses / Hamburg Fire Department Paramedic

The baby wasn't due until March and it was early December. An EMS team was responding to a woman who had miscarried at home. With extreme pain the woman had delivered a 14-week premature baby into the toilet and was bleeding excessively. All attention was focused on the woman who was traumatized and needed to get to the hospital. One of the first responders at the scene asked Jason Van Dewater to remove the baby's body from the toilet so as not to further upset anyone at the scene. Van Dewater extracted the baby, but before he could place it in a bag he realized that the child was alive. The crews all went into action. Nothing on the ambulance would fit the premature infant, and they could not intubate because the laryngoscope blade was too large. The CVU bag didn't fit the child either but paramedics were able to use their hands to make it work and also provide basic CPR.

The baby arrived at Buffalo Mercy Hospital alive and kicking and was later transported to Women's and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. The child was very premature and the shock of the birth made for a very long recovery if the child was to make it at all. After several months in the ICU at WCHOB the child went home with Mom and Dad.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes First Responders Karyn Krytus, Dennis Wellspeak, Jason Van Dewater and Beth Moses for their heroic action.

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Officer Corey Krug / Buffalo Police Department

Rescuing someone from a burning vehicle is difficult enough, but when the person being rescued puts up a fight it becomes even more dangerous.

On April 2, 2005, Police Officer Corey Krug was dispatched to a car fire at 805 Elk Street.  He found a 1992 Buick with its engine on fire and a smoke-filled passenger compartment.  Krug quickly requested Buffalo Fire assistance.

Krug couldn't tell if anyone was inside but the bartender at Mr. A's next door thought someone was. With the heavy smoke Krug couldn't wait for the fire company to arrive.  With disregard for his own safety he opened the passenger car door and found a person inside.  However, the occupant began to fight with the officer. Krug then went to the driver's side and was able to remove the occupant.  All the while the fire was spreading.

By the time the officer removed 61-year-old occupant the vehicle was fully involved. Witnesses reported the vehicle exploded less than ten seconds after the man was pulled out.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Officer Corey Krug for his heroic action on April 2, 2005.

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Hon. Michael A. Battle / United States Attorney for the Western Dist. of NY

Michael A. Battle, United States Attorney for the Western District of New York, is being honored with The 100 Club of Buffalo Distinguished Service Award.  In addition to his achievements in the law enforcement and legal communities, he has been a longtime member and supporter of The 100 Club.  His personal involvement in Project Exile and Weed and Seed programs helped curb the violence in Buffalo making the streets safer both for the public and law enforcement personnel as well.

Battle graduated from Dewit Clinton High School in New York City. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ithaca College and earned his law degree from SUNY at Buffalo.  He began his legal career with the Legal Aid Society Civil Division.  From there he was recruited by US Attorney Salvatore R. Martoche to be an Assistant US Attorney in Buffalo, a position he held from 1985 through 1992.  He served in the General Criminal Division, the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force and the Civil Division.

In 1992, he helped establish the Federal Public Defenders Office in Rochester with a satellite office in Buffalo.  By 1995 he was appointed Assistant in Charge of the Buffalo office for New York State Attorney General Dennis Vacco.

He left the Attorney General's Office in June 1996 accepting an appointment by Governor George E. Pataki to fill a vacancy on the Erie County Family Court Bench.  Later that year Battle won the Democratic and Republican primaries retaining the seat for 10 years.

In January 2004, Battle was appointed by Attorney General John Ashcroft to serve on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee. The Committee advises the Attorney General on key public policy issues facing the Department of Justice.

Outside of the office, Battle has received several community awards, served on numerous boards and has been active in organizations from Leadership Buffalo to Kaleida Health to the Boy Scouts of America.

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Firefighter John Relosky / Buffalo Fire Department
Firefighter Tom Smolarek / Buffalo Fire Department

Fire claimed the life of a Buffalo woman but a pair of Buffalo firefighters gave the victim a fighting chance by putting their own safety on the line to pull her from the burning home.

The fire alarm sounded on March 1, 2005.  A house was fully involved in flames on Eastwood Place in Buffalo.  Arriving at the scene Firefighters John Relosky and Tom Smolarek learned someone was trapped inside the two-story house.

Fire was blocking the normal building entrances.  Relosky and another firefighter climbed though a rear window beyond the fire, without the protection of hose lines.  Relosky and Smolarek met in the hallway of the bedroom then proceeded to search the bathroom.  Terry Hamner was unconscious on the bathroom floor. With fire and smoke at the front of the house, Relosky and Smolarek decided to take the woman out the rear bedroom.  Smolarek took out the rear bedroom window and jumped to the ground. Relosky handed the victim to Smolarek who then carried the woman around front. The woman was in full cardiac arrest when handed off to emergency medical personnel at the site and was revived at the hospital.

The actions of Smolarek and Relosky gave the victim a fighting chance for survival but the 40-year-old woman ultimately died of severe smoke inhalation.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Firefighters John Relosky and Thomas Smolarek for their heroic action on March 1, 2005.

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Firefighter Mark Mendola / Buffalo Fire Department

Just before Christmas 2004, Ladder 4 responded to a structure fire at 65 Florida Street.  Neighbors gave them more bad news - people were trapped on the second floor, the same floor as the fire.

Firefighter Mark Mendola was on the first truck to arrive at the scene.  He went upstairs through the front to the kitchen.  Mendola quickly located a victim on the floor.  Firefighter James Hart assisted Mendola in bringing the female from the kitchen to the rear stairwell.

Once in a safe area they found she had a pulse but was not breathing.  CPR was administered.  Regaining a pulse she was transferred to the ambulance crew.  Mendola assisted the crew as the victim was transported to ECMC.

The victim was hospitalized in ECMC's Burn Intensive Care Unit with severe burns to her face, arms, and chest.  Fortunately, the victim survived after more than two weeks in a coma.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Firefighter Mark Mendola for his heroic action on December 22, 2004.


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Charles Mathewson / Civilian

Charles Mathewson was just about to go to sleep on June 7, 2005, when he heard crackling sounds coming from the house next door on Roesch Avenue in Buffalo's Riverside section.  He saw an orange glow reflected on the driveway. The first floor apartment was on fire.

Knowing that six children and three adults lived in the house, Mathewson quickly ran over screaming and yelling to make sure that they were out of the house.  He soon discovered that his neighbor, Bob Hooker, was trapped in the upper apartment and could not make it down the stairs.  The smoke was so thick that Hooker asked Mathewson to keep yelling so that he could follow his voice.

Mathewson quickly grabbed a ladder and was able to help Hooker climb down safely.  The victim suffered mild smoke inhalation and was treated at Sisters Hospital.

Had it not been for Mathewson's quick thinking and fast action, Hooker may have suffered severely.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Charles Mathewson for his heroic action on June 7, 2005.


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Lieutenant Keith Burke / Buffalo Fire Department

Lt. Keith Burke was at a fire on December 22, 2004.  He was on an immediate search for anyone in the burning building.

Entering the second floor, Burke encountered heavy smoke and moderate heat.  He began searching through the living room and moved on to the front bedroom rapidly sweeping the rooms.  He found a bed but no victims.  Blankets were strewn all over the floor.  He removed one glove to make sure he could feel anyone under the blankets.  He then felt a body and grabbed the victim under her arms.  He had to drag her out of the room. With the assistance of Sean McKinnie and Michael Wisiniewski, they carried her through the living room to the second floor stairs. They adjusted her at the stairs and brought her down to an awaiting stretcher.

Burke's actions gave the victim a fighting chance for survival. However, the 12-year-old died three days later on Christmas Day.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Lt. Keith Burke for his heroic action on December 22, 2004.


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Officer Julio LeBron / Town of Tonawanda Police

At Hollywood Video's parking lot on Niagara Falls Blvd in Tonawanda, the smoke-filled car and sparks coming from underneath weren't entertainment.  Witnesses realized the diver was unresponsive and called 911.

Smoke was beginning to fill the car when Officer Julio LeBron arrived on the scene.  He opened the car door but couldn't rouse the driver.  He began to unfasten the seatbelt and pull the driver out.  He heard a loud pop and the vehicle blew up and caught fire.  The driver was still partially in the vehicle.  LeBron struggled with the seatbelt as the fire intensified.  Finally, he was able to free the trapped driver and drag him away from the burning car.

It wasn't until he was safely away from the car that the driver Norman Taylor realized what had happened.  "Holy cow," said Taylor, "he risked his life to save me!"

Taylor was listed in good condition in Buffalo General Hospital, may have suffered a medical problem prior to the fire.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Officer Julio Lebron for his heroic action on July 10, 2005.

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