2019 Hero Awards Dinner

By January 20, 2020 Hero Awards

In every community, there is a group of dedicated men and women who risk their lives daily to protect the members of that community. They consider the risks to be “part of the job”. Unfortunately, not all citizens of those communities understand the hardships inherent in carrying out these important tasks.

The 100 Club of Buffalo’s purpose is to provide assistance to the members and families of police, fire and emergency medical service agencies when necessary.

On Friday, March 1st, 2019, The 100 Club of Buffalo hosted the 61th Annual Hero Awards Dinner at The Country Club of Buffalo and honored ten individuals from Western New York for acts of heroism in emergency situations.

Dinner guests included representatives of local law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services as well as 100 Club of Buffalo members and supporters. After a cocktail hour, guests made their way into the main dining room at The Country Club of Buffalo. The dinner was formally called to order with a bagpiper leading the opening procession. Peter Casilio, the President of The 100 Club of Buffalo introduced the evening’s Emcee Jeff Slawson of WKBW-TV.  Following, was the Pledge of Allegiance, led by NYS Trooper John J. Moretti (Ret.).  Pastor Steve Biegner, the Chaplain of Erie County Emergency Services, led an Invocation Prayer and welcoming remarks were provided by Peter Casilio.

The main program was the presentation of the 2018 Hero Awards.  Recognized were three civilians, two first responders, two New York State Troopers, one Buffalo Police Officer and two members of the fire department.

2018 Hero Award Recipients

Nancy Frederickson

Lifetime Achievement Award

(presented by Chief Samuel Palmiere)

Nancy Frederickson has meant more to the 100 Club of Buffalo than anyone knows.  Nancy served as a director of the 100 Club and served on every committee including the Hero Awards Committee and the Scholarship Committee.  Nancy recorded the minutes during meetings, always pitched in wherever help was needed and did the jobs that no one wanted to do. Nancy did the work that was behind the scenes and thankless. If you needed something done she was there to help you – with no complaints – never seeking recognition.  

When Nancy was asked to serve as the president of the 100 Club of Buffalo, she turned it down. She helped produce a video of the 100 Club and was the person you would ask if you wanted a copy of anything. Her husband has been a Volunteer Fireman with many years of service to his department. Nancy owns her own company, The Frederickson Group, which provides public relations service for clients including Mount Calvary Cemetery.

 

Beth Moses

Service Award

(presented by Dr. Joshua Lynch)

Webster’s Dictionary defines a hero as someone who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or notable qualities.  Nurse Beth Moses exhibits all of these qualities. Beth has dedicated her life to the care of those in need of emergency care. As a nurse, she is a silent hero for the seriously injured, helping everywhere from the streets to the bedside.  Beth’s heroism is in her ongoing commitment to improve emergency care in the community.

As the EMS Chief for the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Company, Beth regularly spends her nights and evenings on scene for crashes, fires and medical emergencies helping to provide lifesaving care.  Beth is also actively involved in educating and training new and seasoned EMS personnel in her community and beyond. Her position with the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Company gives her an advantage of the on-scene perspective when teaching trauma care to emergency care providers at the hospital.

Beth is the Trauma Injury Prevention and Education Coordinator at ECMC and teaches EMS case review sessions that bring together pre-hospital and hospital trauma teams to review cases from the perspectives of on the street and inside the hospital.  These teams have been recognized by the Committee on Trauma Verification Review Committee as a strength of ECMC’s Level 1 Trauma Program.

Beth was responsible for bringing the STOP the Bleed campaign to Western New York. This national program encourages bystanders to become trained, equipped and ready to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives on the scene.  Over the past few years, she has trained hundreds of people lifesaving skills to stop life threatening bleedings at the scene of an accident.

 

Lieutenant Peter Nigrelli

Buffalo Police Department

(presented by Dan Slawson)

Last year, one hundred forty-four law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty.  Thousands of public and police interactions happen each day and police officers put their lives on the line to keep our families and communities safe.   These brave men and women place themselves directly into situations most people avoid.

On July 20, 2018, at approximately 3pm, Lieutenant Peter Nigrelli of the Buffalo Police Department was on his way to work. Without any hesitation and before heading to his precinct, Lieutenant Nigrelli responded to a critical and dangerous situation. A 911 call went out to District A officers stating that a man was holding his mother hostage inside a home on McKinley Parkway and Como Avenue in South Buffalo  – the man was armed with a shotgun.

Shots had been fired inside the home after officers arrived on the scene – and as the situation unfolded, the man emerged from his home still armed with his 12-gauge shotgun in one arm and holding his mother hostage with the other arm.

Confronting the suspect, Lieutenant Nigrelli continuously shouted  “Drop the weapon Jeremy!” – he needed to be heard over the screams of the armed man’s frantic mother who was begging her son to stop.

The man did not heed Lieutenant Nigrelli’s orders and attempted to be get into a truck parked in the driveway of the home. Though off-duty, Lieutenant Nigrelli called upon the skill and training he acquired over 20-plus years as a police officer. Numerous times, the armed man pointed his shotgun at Nigrelli even after he was ordered to drop the weapon. Thinking of the safety of the civilians and fellow officers who were on scene, Nigrelli had no choice but to draw his weapon and fired.  Lieutenant Nigrelli’s shot disarmed the suspect and ended the dangerous situation without harm to anyone else.

 

Troopers Troy Bullard and Sean Mahony,

New York State Police

(presented by Robert Zak)

On September 13, 2018, Troopers Troy Bullard and Sean Mahony were the first responders to a report of an overturned boat in a privately owned pond located in the Town of Newstead.  Once on scene, they encountered several civilians performing CPR on an elderly victim and were told the victim’s fishing partner remained unaccounted for and was still in the water.  Bullard and Mahoney asked to be transported to the area where it was determined the individuals unintentionally entered the water. Without pause, the troopers removed their uniforms to their undergarments and entered the water to search for the missing victim.  

With a water depth of 15 feet, Troopers Bullard and Mahony proceeded to conduct a grid search, working their way back and forth between the shoreline to where the overturned boat remained in the water.  After reoccurring dives, Trooper Bullard located the victim tangled in weeds in 8 feet of water. Trooper Bullard latched onto the individual’s belt and positioned him right below the surface where Trooper Mahony was able to assist and together they swam the victim to shore.  They immediately began CPR and transferred the victim via motorboat to the opposite shore where EMS personnel was waiting.

Despite Trooper Bullard and Mahony’s fast and heroic actions, neither victim could be revived by paramedics.

Troopers Mahony and Bullard had no safety equipment and were unfamiliar with their surroundings when they entered the water.  They risked their own lives diving into the pond to help another in need.

 

Firefighters Kevin Churley and Lieutenant Marty Barrett

Buffalo Fire Department

(presented by Mark Barberio)

In the early morning hours of April 25, 2018, Rescue 1, 2nd platoon was dispatched to a structure fire at 2160 Seneca Street in Buffalo.  While en route it was confirmed that it was a working fire in a two story mixed occupancy building with confirmation of a victim trapped inside on the second floor.  

Upon arrival, Rescue 1 was ordered to conduct a primary search of the second floor.  Three firefighters climbed the stairs and encountered a congested hallway and stairwell as other crews were struggling to move through heavy smoke and increasing heat.  

Rescue 1 made the quick decision to conduct a primary search of the apartment adjoining the structure starting at the back of the apartment and working towards the front entrance.  Visibility was nonexistent and the thermal imaging cameras were rendered useless by the smoky conditions.

On the call, Firefighter Kevin Churley was driving so he and his partner Marty Barrett, were delayed in entering the apartment but quickly joined the Rescue Crew and began to search the front of the apartment.  

Both Churley and Barrett relied on their training, discipline and instincts while searching for the victim.  While on his knees and using his pike pole, Churley found the male victim on the ground and immediately called for assistance.  Through thick smoke, heat and zero visibility, Lieutenant Marty Barrett heard Churley’s call, located both men and assisted Churley.  The firefighters moved the victim through the congested hallway, down a long staircase and into the safety of an ambulance outside.

 

Patrick Casilio, Jr. and Jerry Roy

Clarence Center Fire Company and Harris Hill Fire Company

(presented by Arthur E. Duc Musarra)

For many people in Clarence, October, 20, 1989 is a date they will never forget.  At about 2 pm there was information that a shooting had occurred on Karats Road. Two deputies were shot while trying to serve an arrest warrant on Rudy Manzella, who was wanted on narcotics charges in the City of Tonawanda.  Manzella was holed inside the home while deputies William Dillemuth and David Carlson lay bleeding outside. An eight-hour standoff with law enforcement would soon unfold.

Pat Casilio Jr., a volunteer firefighter with the Clarence Fire Company was at a Rotary Club meeting when he heard the emergency call.  A neighbor called in about the shooting and it came through as a man down – not a police emergency.

Jerry Roy from Harris Hill Fire Company and Casilio arrived on the scene at the same time and were in the front yard of the property where Manzella was shooting.  

Roy observed Deputy Dave Carlson collapse onto the law. Casilio maneuvered his car to act as a shield for Carlson as Roy administered first aid to the wounded deputy.  Casilio assisted with first aid to Carlson. Dillemuth lay unattended until more vehicles arrived and could shield him and the others from Manzella’s shots.

Both deputies were taken to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital in Amherst.  Carlson survived but unfortunately, Dillemuth succumbed to his wounds.

The standoff with Manzella and more than 100 officers and SWAT team members from the Sheriff’s Office and Amherst Police Department ended around 10pm when Manzella was taken into custody. He is currently serving a 50 years-to-life sentence in prison.

Roy and Casilio have received awards for their quick response in the line of fire which they credited to sheer ignorance and not knowing severity of the situation. Thank you Pat and Jerry for being on scene to help the wounded deputies and thinking fast in an emergency situation.

Jack Harzynski

Civilian

(presented by David Hatcher)

On December 11 County Sheriff, Gregory J. Rudolph was driving to work in an unmarked police car when another vehicle began to tailgating and flashing his headlights. Rudolph pulled to the side of the road to see if the driver needed assistance but he was blocked in after the vehicle pulled in front of his vehicle.  The man quickly approached Rudolph at the driver’s side door and attacked him.

Jack Harzynski, with the USPS, was doing his daily routine with a coworker and out delivering papers that morning in Attica, NY.  Almost finished for the day, Harzynski noticed the unmarked police car stopped on the side of the road with flashing lights. Soon he saw Sheriff Rudolph and the man wrestling in the snowbanks by the side of the road.  Harzynski climbed from his car, heard Rudolph calling for assistance as the other man held a knife to Rudolph’s. The man attempted to grab Rudolph’s weapon while they were wrestling on the ground. Without thinking, Harzynski sprung into action – pulling the man off of Rudolph by grabbing his coat and hurling him into a nearby snowbank.  The man still had a knife in his hand when he got up from the snowbank but Rudolph was able to tackle the man to the ground and put him in handcuffs. Sheriff Rudolph recognized the man as someone that visited the sheriff’s office earlier that week to ask about pistol permit applications.

Sheriff Rudolph is forever grateful to Jack and his coworker for being at the right place at the right time and disregarding their own safety to help him and possibly saving his life.

 

The 100 Club of Buffalo would like to thank the following sponsors who help to make our 61th annual Hero Awards dinner a success

Commissioner Sponsor:

The Erie County Medical Center

 

Captain Sponsors:

Delaware North

Ross B. Kenzie

 

Lieutenant Sponsors:

CannonDesign

Casilio Companies

Bison Iron & Step

Robert Zak

 

2019 – 100 Club Hero Awards Table Sponsors:

Erie County Medical Center

Delaware North

Dr. & Mrs. Joshua Lynch

Buffalo Police PBA

Buffalo Fire Union

Casilio Companies

Musarra Family

New York State Police PBA