MONTGOMERY – Orange County proudly hosted the Meritorious Service Awards reception last Tuesday, April 4th at the Graham Skea Lodge at Stony Ford Golf Course in Montgomery.
Awards were presented in the following categories: Law Enforcement, Fire, Emergency and Military Service.
“This event encourages us to honor our first responders who work hard every day to keep County residents safe,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “The men and women who commit their lives to public service in this capacity do not do it for awards or accolades, so it is truly my pleasure and privilege to recognize their exemplary service. Our first responders and military personnel deserve to be commended and appreciated for the work that they do and the sacrifices that they make.”
The 2023 Meritorious Service Award recipients were:
Orange County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Joseph April and Frank Conklin: On December 14th of last year, April, who was on the communications, advised Conklin of a motor vehicle accident on Sly Place in the Town of Wawayanda. The victim suffered a partially severed leg and Conklin immediately applied a tourniquet to the limb above the injury, which helped stop the bleeding. The victim was rushed to the hospital and, thanks to Conklin’s quick thinking and action, the leg was successfully reattached.
Matthew J. Cassidy, United States Military Academy and West Point Force Protection and Anti-Terrorism Officer: A retired Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, Cassidy has played an integral role in developing great working relationships with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, the Orange County FBI field office, and the New York Joint Terrorism task force, enhancing the mutual support they provide USMA.
Orange County Senior Public Dispatcher Joseph Codi: Codi received a cellular 9-1-1 call in the Town of Newburgh on November 15 of last year from someone struggling to breathe and unable to speak.
Dispatcher Codi calmly assessed the situation and used state of the art technology to pinpoint the caller’s location, while viewing medical information provided by her cellphone’s health app. He then used his extensive training and experience to determine the caller was having a severe asthma attack. Within minutes, the ambulance arrived and began to treat the patient.
Kenneth Oscar Conley, Highland Falls Fire Department: Conley was recognized for his 50 years of service. At the age of 86, Ken continues his legacy of dedication by being a top responder every year and being one of the members that can be counted on for help with any activity in the firehouse.
Sheila Arce Cruz, Mobile Life Support Services: Cruz was a cadet in Mobile Life’s EMT Academy in 2019 and has moved up the ranks. She quickly became a Field Training Officer (FTO) and mentor for incoming EMT’s and later, a Station 1 Quarter Master, where she worked closely with supervisors on a variety of tasks. Cruz was first inspired to become a provider when her own family member had a medical emergency.
Robert Lemin, Warwick Volunteer EMS: Lemin has served as a volunteer for almost 20 years and took the lead during the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that all units had the proper cleaned and disinfected supplies. Lemin, a 1st Lieutenant, is in charge for Warwick Volunteer EMS during large scale events and is known for treating patients with compassion.
Danielle Lyn LaBagh-Glynn, Sparrowbush Fire Department: Assemblyman Karl Brabenec nominated LaBagh-Glynn for her many achievements as a volunteer firefighter over the last 30 years. Glynn joined the Washington Heights Fire Company in 1991. Named Firefighter of the Year in 1999, she has actively served the Sparrowbush Engine Company over the past 16 years in many capacities, including firefighter, officer, and as an EMT. In 2017, LaBagh-Glynn became the first woman president of the Orange County Volunteer Firemen’s Association.
Wayne Melton, Pocatello-Mount Hope Fire Department: Melton’s distinguished career began in 1979. He is a Past Chief of Otisville Fire Department, a founding member of the Mount Hope Fire Company, and is retired from FDNY’s well-known Rescue 1 after 21 years.
John Morgan, Mobile Life Support Services: Morgan has worked for Mobile Life Support Services since 1996 and cares deeply about the residents that he serves. He is also passionate about supporting the mental and emotional health and well-being of all EMS providers, serving as a mentor to many of his peers. Morgan is deeply loved and respected by his colleagues.
New York State Trooper Steven A. Morrissey: Trooper Morrissey rescued an elderly man who fell out of a kayak and into the Beaver Dam Lake in October of 2021. Trooper Morrissey jumped into the water, swam to the man, and was able to safely escort him back to shore.
Sergeant Matthew Nadolny, Town of Newburgh Police Department: Nadolny helped save a man who jumped off the Newburgh/Beacon Bridge in September of last year. Nadolny commandeered a jet ski from the nearby yacht club and rescued the jumper on the Hudson River, bringing him to shore. His actions likely saved the man’s life.
Nancy Peifer, Monroe Volunteer Ambulance: Peifer was recognized for her 38 years with Monroe Ambulance. During her career as an EMT, she has taken more than 4,000 calls, serving as president, vice president and recording secretary, and as a youth advisor and CPR instructor. Peifer takes great pride in mentoring new members.
Dan McNamara, Silver Lake Fire Department: Firefighter McNamara and Circleville Fire Department Assistant Chief Kevin Holland responded to a drowning at a pool in Circleville in July of last year. McNamara removed both victims from the murky pool and Holland performed CPR on them. Sadly, both victims died, but the heroic efforts of McNamara and Holland gave the victims the best chance of survival.