Knights of Columbus honor Fanwood and Scotch Plains First Responders

(above) Group photo of all honorees 
Photo by Karolyn Buckridee

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.

(above) Fanwood Rescue Squad group with honoree Nam-June Joe holding certificate
Courtesy photo

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.

(above) Sgt. Piccola, Council members Jeff Banks and Gina Berry and Police Director Mike Bramhall 
Photo by Jeff Banks
(above) Firefighter Russ Hamill receiving certificate from Chief John Piccola
Photo by Fanwood Fire Dept.