Assemblywoman Buttenschon Hosts Inaugural First Responders of the Year Awards Ceremony

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) held her inaugural First Responders of the Year Awards ceremony on Monday, Oct. 28, at the Utica State Office Building to recognize and thank local first responders for their hard work and dedication to protecting our communities. The ceremony was sponsored by Gates-Cole Insurance.

“First responders are on the front lines every day to keep our loved ones safe from harm,” Buttenschon said. “These local heroes deserve our utmost gratitude for their bravery and commitment to making the Mohawk Valley such a tremendous place to live. It was truly an honor to recognize these selfless and courageous men and women, and I want to thank everyone who attended for showing their support.”

Buttenschon honored six first responders as “First Responders of the Year” during Monday’s ceremony: Brian McQueen, retired volunteer fire chief of the Whitesboro Fire Department; Michael Haas of the Whitesboro Fire Department; Martina Titus of the Utica Fire Department; Carey Phair of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office; James Laurey of the Utica Police Department; and Zachary Ambrose of the Utica Police Department. Buttenschon also recognized all those who were nominated during the ceremony.

“To all our first responders, thank you for your service. Events like this not only recognizes them for their heroic acts but also for their contributions, sacrifices, and dedication to public service on a daily basis. Dispatchers, Firefighters, Police Officers, Paramedics and EMT’s are our superheroes. When we call, they are there and their jobs are far from easy. These people rise to the call of duty every time they walk through the doors at work,” Utica Fire Department Chief Scott Ingersoll said. “So when you see your local first responders give them a wave or thank them for their service because without them the world would be a much different place.”

“We would like to thank all of the first responders in our communities risking their lives to keep our lives and homes safe. We know it’s a lot of time and dedication to keep certified in EMS, firefighting and law enforcement. Also this is time away from your own families,” said William Cole, President of Gates-Cole Insurance. “We support the first responders all over Central NY and congratulate all of the nominees and award recipients.”