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First Responders Honored at Awards Ceremony

First Responders Honored at Awards Ceremony

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt held the inaugural 99th Assembly District Salute to First Responders event at the Orange County Emergency Services Center this past Monday. The event was created to recognize first responders from across the Assembly District who have made significant contributions to their communities and the 99th Assembly District. Those receiving awards in our area included:

Village of Washingtonville

Washingtonville Police Officer (and SRO) Charles Martin was recognized at Assemblyman Colin Schmitt’s Inaugural “Salute to First Responders” Ceremony.
Officer Charles Martin currently serves as the School Resource Officer for Washingtonville High School.

His history in law enforcement began when he joined the NYPD in 1997. Officer Martin served in New York City during the 9/11 attacks on our nation. In 2002 Officer Martin joined the Blooming Grove Police Department where he worked for 3.5 years and then in 2005 he joined the Washingtonville PD. Charlie, as many know him by, worked for 22 years on Midnights while raising 3 kids, Meaghan, Erin, and Christopher, with his wife, Joann. In addition to his life of service as a First Responder, Officer Martin volunteered as a coach for both girls and boys soccer, and coached  youth wrestling and Football, and boasts that he along with other dads in the community led their team to the 2009 Division 4 Youth Super Bowl Championship Team.

Here Officer Martin with his family, and with Washingtonville Police Chief Brian Zaccaro and sergeants. (Photos provided)

WASH Police Honored
Wa Police honored 2

Town of Blooming Grove: Raymond Phillips, FDNY posthumously

The town of Blooming Grove has unanimously nominated the late and very much beloved Raymond Phillips , the Past Chief of the South Blooming Grove Fire Department to receive this year’s Salute to First Responder Award. Ray, was a longtime resident of the community and served as a member of FDNY, Rescue 3, in the Bronx for 26 years, from 1977-2003.  Ray was a First Responder at the World Trade Center on September 11th, 2001. In addition to his service with FDNY, Ray was a firefighter and company officer and Chief of South Blooming Grove Fire Department from 1990-2017. Ray was an enthusiastic “Santa’s Helper” for the FDNY widows and children’s foundation for 35 years. He served as Treasurer,of Battalion 5 in Orange County and member of OCVFA and then  a member of Orange County Retired Firefighters Association. Ray was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish, and Vice-President of the Holy Name Society for FDNY. Ray was a loving husband to his wife Maureen (who is here with us tonight) , and proud and loving father to Raymond, Brian and Courtney. We are honored to present this award in his memory and with gratitude for his life of service. 

Village of South Blooming Grove: Brian Carey, South Blooming Grove Fire Department and FDNY (ret)

Brian Carey has been an active member of the South Blooming Grove Fire Department for 38 years, and has served as the Commissioner for the past 20 years. He started volunteering at the age of 16. He worked his way through the ranks and became Chief of the department for 3 years.  Additionally, Brian served 24 years with the FDNY, retiring as a Lieutenant in ladder 54 in March 2017. Brian was an active member of FDNY during the 9/11 attack on our nation, serving in Squad 61. Upon retirement he continued his service to the South  Blooming Grove Community, and has been instrumental in the training of new firefighters in South Blooming Grove.

Town of Chester: Deana Santosky-Wright, Town of Chester Police Department

Officer Wright is honored tonight as a member of both the Town of Chester Police Department and as an active member of the United States Army. The town recognizes Deana tonight for balancing a civil service career while serving and protecting our nation on active military duty. In September of 1999 Deana entered into military service with the Army. In 2006, Deana graduated the basic police course. From May of 2006 through October 2007 Deana completed military training and was deployed to Iraq. In October of 2012 Deana joined the Town of Chester Police Department.  From October 2017 through July 2018 Deana was deployed to Kuwait but served the majority of that time in Iraq. 


Village of Chester: John Deshler, Chester Fire Department

Jack has been nominated in recognition of his dedication, extraordinary commitment and years of service to the Chester Community. Public Service has been his life throughout his career and in his retirement. Jack was born, raised and has resided in Chester for 78 years. He was instrumental in inputting the Multiple Alarm Mutual Aid Program into the system. Jack has been a 60 year member of the Walton Engine and Hose Company #1 in Chester, since 1959.  He has held positions of Secretary, 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Lieutenant, Captain and President. Jack also served as 2nd Assistant Chief, 1st Assistance Chief and Chief for the Chester Fire Department. In 1970 Jack was nominated as the Orange County Fireman of the Year. This same year Captain Jack Deshler was involved in a courageous life saving effort when he arrived on the scene before his fire unit from the Walton Company arrived. Jack Deshler was elected to the Board of Fire Commissioners of the Chester Fire District and has served for 8+ years – currently serving as Chairman of the Board.

Town of Cornwall: Timothy McCarthy, West Point Fire Department (ret), New Windsor Volunteer Ambulance Corps

The Cornwall Community has nominated Tim McCarty to receive this recognition with respect for his life of service as both a Fire-Fighter and an EMT.  In 1980 Tim joined the Storm King Engine Company #2 and was named the Rookie of the Year in 1981. He served as a Company Officer from 1982-1991, was Chief Officer from 1991-1995 and Chief of Department in 1994 -1995, and President of the Company in 1996. Tim is a Life Member of Storm King Engine Co. #2.In 1985 Tim became an EMT and was a member of the Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance Corp until 1990.  He is certified as a Paramedic and currently works with New Windsor Ambulance Corp. In 2004 Tim became a member of the Salisbury Mills Fire Department, and is active in this role today. He is currently a Commissioner for the District.

Additionally, Tim worked for the West Point Fire District from 1988 as a Firefighter and EMT. He was promoted to Captain in 2005 and retired in 2014 as a Captain after 26 years of service.

Town of Goshen: George Lyons, Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps

George is honored tonight in appreciation and recognition for his many years of service with the Goshen Volunteer Ambulance Corps . George has been on call and or riding for 45 years. George has been the recipient of many Annual 1000 Hour Certificates because George has devoted over 50,000 hours of his time to the emergency medical services of the Goshen Community.  This past year he has given 2,867 hours and answered 172 calls. George has been named GOVAC’s Corp Person of the Year for his dedicated service 4 times. Throughout his years in government service, George continued to use his EMT skills riding for GOVAC every chance that he could, often signing for “graveyard” shift from midnight to 6am. He served as President of GOV AC numerous times as well as offices of Treasure,, 1st Lt. , 2nd Lt., and Vice president. One of George’s favorite jobs was playing Santa for the annual GOVAC Children’s party, arriving by ambulance because his sled broke down on the way. Throughout this long career in education, whether teaching, coaching or counseling in Warwick, Goshen or Newburgh, George has touched the lives of thousands of our youth.


Village of Goshen: Jay Jonas, FDNY

The Village of Goshen has nominated Jay Jonas  in appreciation and respect for his 30 years of service with the Minisink Hook and Ladder Company #1 Goshen Fire Department and for his  40-years of service with FDNY. He is Deputy Chief in Command of the 7th Division in the Bronx, overseeing six battalions in the Bronx and  Manhattan. Jay is one of 22 who survived the collapse of the North Tower during the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th, while serving as Captain of Ladder Co. no. 6 in Chinatown.   His poignant story has inspired and touched the lives of many. His courage and leadership on 9/11 and in the long and difficult days that followed are a testament to his character and commitment. 

Jay continues to serve the Goshen Fire Department as a member,  holding the Rank of Captain. Jay became the Goshen Fire Department Training Officer and he was  instrumental in starting the first FAST (Fire Assist and Search Team) Jay is known for leading by example, and for being known as someone that  shares words of encouragement to new members…Joe truly loves training new members and showing them “the tricks of the trade.



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