Knights of Columbus honor first responders
Submitted by Tom Kranz
Police, fire and EMS responders were honored on April 19, 2023, by the Knights of Columbus, Father Nelligan Council #5730, at the annual Shield Awards presentation at the Italian-American Club in Scotch Plains. The Knights present these awards based on recommendations by the chiefs and captains of the various agencies of members who perform extraordinary service to their organizations and the citizens of their towns.
Fanwood’s honorees were Rescue Squad EMT Nam-June Joe, Fire Department 50-year member Russ Hamill and Police Sargent Dan Piccola. EMT Joe is the squad’s treasurer and a frequent responder. Firefighter Hamill has held various positions during his decades of service including chief. Sgt. Piccola is involved in many community policing initiatives.
Scotch Plains’ honorees were:
- Police Dept: Detective Sergeant Stanley Pearson
- Fire Dept: Fire Chief John Lestarchik, Deputy Chief Skip Paal, Battalion Chief Dennis Hercel, Captain Brendon Canavan
- Rescue Squad: Sara Paolella
Fanwood Borough Council President Jeff Banks and Councilwoman Gina Berry were on hand along with Police Director Mike Bramhall, Fire Chief John Piccola, Rescue Squad president Karolyn Buckridee and members of all agencies and their families.