WVFD awards: Firefighters celebrated for service

Stephan Grozinger, left, received the Firefighter of the Year Award. Carl Hedlund, right, received  the President’s and Chief’s Award. — Bruce Ando photos

Stephan Grozinger, left, received the Firefighter of the Year Award. Carl Hedlund, right, received the President’s and Chief’s Award. — Bruce Ando photos

The Weston Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) held its annual awards dinner Saturday, June 6, at the Lyons Plains Firehouse.

At the ceremony, Stephan Grozinger was named Firefighter of the Year and Carl Hedlund was awarded the President’s and Chief’s Award.

Weston’s Firefighter of the Year award was created in the 1970s in recognition of the late Gil Thirkhield Jr.’s extensive contributions to the department. The recipient is decided by the two first lieutenants, the captains, department chiefs, and the fire chief. The award honors the firefighter who has gone above and beyond more than any other to serve the department.

“Stephan has been with us a long time and he just continues to be fantastic,” said Weston Fire Chief John Pokorny. “He always gets to the Lyons Plain Firehouse quickly … He’s a great asset to the department.”

Grozinger joined the fire department 17 years ago, in July 1998.

The President’s and Chief’s Award is given to someone for dedication, service, and all-around contributions to the department.

Hedlund is relatively new to the fire department, having served for about three and a half years, but “in that short time, he’s really stepped up,” Pokorny said.

Because he is able to give a lot of time during the day — when it’s sometimes tricky to get volunteers who work out of town — “Carl does a lot of things around the firehouse that can really only be done during the day. He’s willing to do just about anything and has been a great help,” Pokorny said.

Craig Cohen, president of the department, agreed. “There are so many responsibilities to stay on top of in a firehouse. With an all-volunteer department, it’s even tougher. Thankfully, every year it seems one of our members distinguishes him/herself performing those quiet, selfless tasks that help make our department run,” Cohen said.

“This year the chief and I were pleased to present Carl Hedlund with the President’s and Chief’s Award because he represents the very best in what membership in the Weston Volunteer Fire Department is all about,” Cohen said.

Joe Spetley and Paul Deysenroth were also recogized at the annual dinner for their 50 years of service. Both Spetley and Deysenroth were in the first EMT class taught in the United States at Norwalk Hospital.

New Life Members were named for their 20 years of service. They were Sandy Buckle, Nissan Eventoff, John Kaczmarczyk, Lynn Pokony, Larry Roberts and Giselle Vogel.

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