HEUVELTON - St. Lawrence Countys fire chiefs got together Saturday night to tell these three guys that they were the tops last year.
Lisbon Fire Chief John A. McLear, Brier Hill Fire Chief Shawn R. Macaulay and Heuvelton firefighter Wayne Hutton.
The three volunteer firefighters were named the St. Lawrence County Fire Chiefs Association Firemen of the Year for 2011 at the organizations annual dinner at, appropriately enough, the fire hall here.
The trios risky team rescue of Bernard C. Compo from his burning home, 328 McIntyre Road, town of Oswegatchie, on Feb. 2, 2010, was the inspiration for the unprecedented triple honors.
I think its one of those things where mutual aid comes into play, said Dennis E. Eickhoff, the associations president. And, hopefully, you get a good result.
Mr. McLear and Mr. Macaulay revealed similar philosophies about firefighting when asked to explain their actions that February morning.
I think the adrenalin takes over, said Mr. McLear, 51, a 30-year firefighter and chief for two decades. I think its in the size-up when you get to the scene.
Mr. Macaulay, 44, has been chief for eight of his 20 firefighting years.
I dont know, he said, recalling his response which came while on the job with the state Department of Transportation. I didnt think about it. I just did it. The adrenalin takes over. Mr. Hutton, 37, a five-year veteran of the Heuvelton department. He was represented by his 13-year-old daughter, Kaylee.
The associations annual awards began in 1970 with the late Potsdam firefighter James J. Doyle bring named the first honoree. Last years award went to Colton firefighter Arthur Scott McRobbie.
Following Mr. Doyle were: 1971, the late Earl Drew, Norwood; 1972, the late William Reid, Massena; 1973, the late Dominic Zappia, Norfolk; 1974, the late Glen Robinson, Massena; 1975, Emerson Forbes, Canton; 1976, Lyle C. Wood, Heuvelton; 1977, the late Earle T. Mousaw, Hannawa; 1978, Paul Wood, Heuvelton; 1979, the late John U. Green, Gouverneur; and 1980, the late Wallace J. Collins, Hannawa.
Also: 1981, the late Thomas Frank, Colton; 1982, the late Stanley P. Richardson, Parishville; 1983, the Howard H. Smith, Potsdam; 1984; the late Elwood J. Nicholson, Norwood; 1985, the late Lewis Hiter, Massena; 1986, the late Walter G. Rickett, Heuvelton; 1987, the late James H. Bogardus Jr., Morristown; 1988, William Knowlton, Heuvelton; and 1989, Spencer Blanchard, West Potsdam.
Also: 1990, Dean S. Gibson, Hammond; 1991, Timothy A. Bill, Heuvelton; 1992, Joseph A. Finnegan, Madrid; 1993, the late Charles F. Smith, Massena; 1994, K. William Grant, West Potsdam; 1995, Kit W. Smith, Morristown; 1996, Stephen Knowlton, Heuvelton; 1997, Joseph Gallagher, Potsdam; 1998, Robert Poore, Rensselaer Falls; 1999, Richard Miller, West Potsdam; and 2000, Gerald Goldsworth, Hopkinton-Fort Jackson.
Also: 2001, the late Roger Davis, Hannawa Falls; 2002, Richard Felt, Hammond; 2003, Jason D. Whitton, Gouverneur; 2004, Daniel Basford, Heuvelton; 2005, Greg Monroe, Norfolk; 2006, Richard Brown, Hannawa Falls; 2007, Jerry Wilson, Colton; 2008, Joseph Devito Sr., Russell; 2009, Darrell Williams, Hannawa Falls; and 2010, Mr. McRobbie, Colton.