Andrew Wynn was named Firefighter of the Year, and Mark Unangst received The Chief’s and President’s Award at the Weston Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual Awards Dinner on Friday, June 10.
The Firefighter of the Year award is given to a volunteer who has a great impact on the operations of the department.
The Chief’s and President’s Award is given to a member who goes above and beyond regular duties.
Honorees are chosen annually by the chief, deputy chief, assistant chief and captains, and presented at the annual dinner.
“Andy and Mark are both great guys who have stepped up and done a ton for this department,” said Chief John Pokorny. “I’m very proud of both of them.”
Wynn, 30, is a mechanic. He joined the WVFD three years ago and went on “over 100” calls last year.
“I had free time so I joined the department,” said Wynn. “It feels very good to give back to the community.”
Pokorny said Wynn is a “perfect fit” for the department due to his willingness to go on calls, help fix trucks and be an all-around positive presence at the department.
“He really jumped in feet first and became a [fire truck] driver quickly,” said Pokorny. “He’s done a lot of extra things for the department by helping out with mechanical stuff and he goes on a ton of calls.”
He said Wynn has become a standout in the department over the course of his three years of service.
“When we’re deciding the awards, we really look at who has improved a lot during their time in the department,” Pokorny said.
Wynn said he was humbled by the award.
“They don’t tell the winners of the awards that they won beforehand,” said Wynn. “It was a very nice surprise, I was very happy.”
Chief’s and President’s Award
Unangst, 50, runs a software firm. He joined the WVFD in 2011.
“Mark came in and has done a ton of extra stuff for us,” said Pokorny. “He’s very involved with organizing old documents and articles about the history of the department, which is something we really take seriously here.”
Unangst has become an event planner of sorts for the department. He sets up the department’s open house in October, manages the annual department-wide holiday party and organizes the annual emergency services picnic in August, where all department members, EMS members, dispatchers and town police officers are invited with their families.
Additionally, Unangst recently took over management of the “explorers” program in town, which is for young adults, ages 14 to 20 who are interested in fire service.
The program teaches participants the in’s-and-out’s of the department and works to prepare them for a future in fire service.
He took over the program in early June and already has more than a dozen young men involved. He plans to amplify the recruitment process over the summer.
“It was an honor to even be considered,” said Unangst. “I was shocked and amazed when my name was called.”
Unangst has lived in Weston for nearly 10 years, but grew up in Westport.
“Weston has been my backyard for most of my life,” said Unangst. “It’s an absolute privilege to serve our neighbors and families in this town.”
Unangst served as a member of the Board of Directors for Weston Baseball until last year. He has also served on various boards for the Weston Field Club.
He has a passion for service with the fire department.
“It’s just an honor to be selected and allowed to train for this department,” said Unangst. “This is a position of trust. We are entrusted with the safety of 3,900 homes and 9,900 residents in Weston that depend on us to show up when they need us, no matter the time.”
Unangst praised the professionalism of the department and called members “ambassadors” for the town of Weston.
“I’ve worked for four international companies over 20 years and the Weston Volunteer Fire Department is the most professional group of men and women with whom I have worked,” he said. “We are very serious about the safety of the town and all of our responsibilities.”