Hero Awards

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


The 2014 One Hundred Club of Buffalo


2014 Hero Awards

Ms. Jennifer Dunn – Civilian Honoree

On June 14, 2014 a drive to a stress relieving morning run turned into anything but that for Jennifer Dunn as she was driving down Delaware Avenue at approximately 9:00AM.

As she crossed under the Scajaquada Expressway a “rooster tail” of dirt and debris caught her eye. Jennifer was driving south when she witnessed a vehicle traveling north jump the curb striking the bridge abutment, it bounced off and the engine compartment burst into flames. At this time Ms. Dunn slammed on her brakes, pulled over, jumped from her own vehicle and dialed 911 as she ran toward the wreckage.

When she arrived at the vehicle she saw how bad it was damaged and was afraid of what she would find when she opened the driver’s side door. When she did pry it open she saw that the operator was unconscious and his entire lower body had been jammed into the lower portion of the vehicle with the steering wheel pushed into his face giving her a feeling of helplessness as to how she would get this man out of the car. Shortly thereafter, help arrived and another good samaritan was able to obtain a fire extinguisher from a stopped bus to attempt to subdue the flames, this was not working and others started to pour water from bottles onto the flames as the driver began to regain consciousness. Jennifer tried to calm him by placing her hand on his shoulder and assuring him help was on the way. When the flames got to the point that Ms. Dunn thought she would have to retreat from the vehicle the fire department arrived, put out the flames and extricated the operator for transport to the Erie County Medical Center.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Ms. Jennifer Dunn whose quick response and intervention helped to calm a crash victim and assist in saving his life on June 14, 2014

Police Officer Robert LaRusch – Buffalo Police Department

On March 6, 2014 while detailed to assist in another district Buffalo Police Officer Robert F. LaRusch was dispatched to a call at the abandoned grain elevators in the City of Buffalo. Upon arrival Officer LaRusch learned that two young girls had entered the grain elevators at approximately 4:00PM and over a period of time had climbed their way up to the 6th floor to take pictures of the city and the waterfront. Unfortunately for them, when the sun went down, they were trapped up there in the dark with no way out. As police and fire personnel were planning a way to attempt to rescue these two girls, Officer LaRusch, who had a familiarity with the grain elevators, removed his gun belt and protective vest and without regard for his own safety scaled the elevator shaft to the 6th floor in the dark. He eventually found the girls and from their perch on the 6th floor was able to coordinate their removal and rescue with the assistance of Buffalo Fire personnel at the scene

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Buffalo Police Officer Robert F LaRusch for his selfless actions without regard to his own safety of March 6, 2014.

Firefighter Edmund Courtney – Buffalo Fire Department

During the early morning hours of June 27, 2014, at approximately 3:07AM Buffalo Firefighter Edmund Courtney along with other responding City of Buffalo Fire Department crews were met with heavy flames rolling from the second story and rising to the third of a residence at 108 Oxford Avenue in the City of Buffalo. Buffalo Fire dispatch had already received numerous calls of the fire and relayed to arriving crews that a victim was trapped inside. Without a hose line yet in place Buffalo fire crews immediately forced entry through a back door and ascended to the third floor apartment within the structure to search for the trapped victim. Deep into the apartment and well away from the staircase Firefighter Courtney located the male victim and began to remove him from the rapidly deteriorating conditions within the apartment. As he reached the staircase Firefighter Courtney was then assisted by other fire personnel at the scene, including Firefighter Michael Dougherty, who eventually carried the victim down the three flights of stairs to safety.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes City of Buffalo Firefighter Edmund Courtney for his heroic actions of June 27, 2014 for disregarding his own safety by entering a burning structure and saving the life of a trapped male victim.

Firefighter Michael Dougherty – Buffalo Fire Department

In the early evening of June 26, 2014 at approximately 5:54PM, Firefighter Michael Dougherty and crews from the Buffalo Fire Department were dispatched to a fire at 18 Regina Place in the City of Buffalo. Upon arrival the firefighters were met with heavy fire conditions on the second floor of a large 2 ½ story wood frame multiple dwelling where it was reported a victim was trapped inside. Crews immediately began a search of the second floor of the structure as hose lines were being stretched. Firefighter Dougherty, while searching the rear of the apartment found a male victim lying on the bathroom floor. With the assistance of Firefighter Edmund Courtney, the two firefighters removed the victim from the dwelling and performed CPR until being handed over to Rural Metro ambulance crews for transport.

The 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Buffalo Firefighter Michael Dougherty for his quick and decisive actions of June 26, 2014 while searching for a victim in deteriorating fire conditions and removing him to safety without regard for his own welfare.

Deputies Bradley Girdler and Brandon Stott – Erie County Sheriff’s Office

Shortly after midnight on September 22, 2014 Erie County Sheriff’s Deputies Bradley Girdler and Brandon Stott responded to a two car motor vehicle accident on Whitehaven Rd on Grand Island. Upon arrival at the scene they observed that one of the vehicles was on fire with driver trapped inside. Deputy Stott attempted to suppress the fire with the fire extinguisher from his vehicle as Deputy Girdler engaged the occupant in an attempt to remove him from the heavily damaged and burning vehicle. After Deputy Stott emptied his fire extinguisher he retrieved the one from Deputy Girdlers patrol vehicle to try to further suppress the intensifying flames as Deputy Girdler tried to pry the doors of the burning vehicle open to extract the victim. As the flames grew in size and intensity and without regard for their own safety the Deputies came to the conclusion that they would have to break window glass to remove the victim through one of the cars windows. As they were doing this a citizen came forward with another fire extinguisher from a nearby hotel to assist in suppressing the flames as the Deputies removed the victim from the vehicle or he would have surely suffered serious injury or possible death if not removed before fire personnel could arrive on scene.

The 100 Club of Buffalo would like to recognize Deputy Bradley Girdler and Brandon Stott for their quick and decisive actions and the disregard for their own personal safety for saving the life of a crash victim who was trapped in a burning vehicle on September 22, 2014.

Trooper Paul Salzler – New York State Police

On June 29, 2014 at approximately 6:30PM, Tpr. Paul Salzler, working out of the SP Holland satellite office was dispatched to assist with a distraught and suicidal male subject in the Town of Colden. Upon arrival at the scene he was met by Deputy Dan Walczak from the Erie County Sheriff’s Department. Together the two walked to the back of the property where they observed a 42 year old male standing at the edge of a ravine that had a 300 foot vertical drop to a shallow creek below. When the highly intoxicated and distraught man saw the two police officers he immediately leapt from the ledge coming to rest face down in the creek below.

Without regard for his own safety and without the aid of a harness Tpr. Salzler immediately descended the steep ravine as quickly as possible to reach the motionless subject. After dangerously climbing down the steep embankment Tpr. Salzler reached the critically injured and unresponsive man who was not only severely injured but in danger of drowning. Taking great care to immobilize the victims head and neck, Tpr. Salzler positioned himself in the creek allowing himself to lift the victims head out of the water enough to allow him to breathe whereupon the victim returned to a semiconscious state. Tpr Salzler remained in the creek assisting the victim and only transitioned care once other responding emergency personnel arrived from a safer alternative route. The victim was eventually secured into a rescue basket and was carried to a waiting ambulance by Tpr. Salzler and other responding personnel for transport to the Erie County Medical Center.

The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury, two broken hips and multiple broken ribs along with numerous lacerations and contusions. It is too early to tell if the victim will make a full recovery but without the swift and heroic actions of Tpr. Salzler this troubled man would not have survived that day.

Tonight the 100 Club of Buffalo recognizes Trooper Paul Salzler for his quick and decisive actions without regard to his own personal safety for saving the life of a disturbed man on June 29, 2014

2014 Outstanding Service Award

Erie County Office of Emergency Services

Beginning Monday, November 17, 2014 the Buffalo area was impacted by one of the most ferocious snow storms to ever envelope WNY. The lake effect snow bands started dumping snow over the majority of the southern two thirds of Erie County reaching rates of 4-6 inches per hour at the heaviest times. This is Buffalo and that doesn’t seem like a big deal but these lake effect snows continued for 2 straight days, letting up for a short period of time for the responders to catch their breath and started all over again pummeling the same towns and areas for two more days. When it was all said and done the heaviest hit areas in Erie County measured what amounted to be just under the average snowfall for an entire winter with measured accumulations of an incredible 7 feet of snow in the hardest hit areas. The Erie County Office of Emergency Services was prepared to do battle with this epic storm from the moment the first warnings were issued and continued with clean up and funding well after it blew out of here. They implemented their emergency action plan, bringing the heads of Erie County and New York State agencies together and declared states of emergency and road closures throughout most of the County protecting all of us as best they could in the process. This response by the Erie County Office of Emergency Services to one of the largest natural disasters to strike this area since the infamous “Blizzard of ‘77” demonstrates how planning, training, implementing, responding and recovery benefits all of the citizens of Western New York

The 100 Club of Buffalo presents its Outstanding Service Award to Erie County Commissioner of Emergency Services, Dan Neaverth, for leading the charge and coordinating the massive response to the November 2014 snowstorm that impacted most of Erie County