The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department Honors Members at Annual Banquet
The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department held its Annual Banquet on February 22nd. Approximately 100 fire department members and guests attended, along with Mutual Aid Emergency Response Representatives, Town of Ellington and State officials.
Jordan Chamberlin was the recipient of the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department 2019 Firefighter of the Year Award. This award is given annually to an Ellington Volunteer Fire Department member who has gone above and beyond the scope of his/her normal fire department duties in the past year. He received this award due to his work with the organization, training and committee efforts.
Firefighter Richard Daugherty was awarded a Life Saving Medal along with Ellington Public Works employees Ronald Moser and Denis Giroux received Citizens Award of Recognition. Recognizing their actions to save the life of their co-worker Shawn Bull on June 10th.
The Department acknowledged over 315 years of service to the community. Annually years of service awards are given to members as they reach their 5-year anniversaries. The following members were recognized; Jared Fongemie 5 years, Katherine Hany 5 years, Nicole Hazzard 5 years, Douglas Parent 5 years, Bradford Hoffman 10 years, John Vogel 5 years Valerie Adams 15 years, Karl Neubecker 15 years, Bryan Blotniski 30 years, Betsi Feldman 30 years, Daniel Parisi 30 years, Michael Varney 35 years, Frederica Weeks 35 years, Donald Davis 40 years, and Jack Turner 50 Years. Each member was recognized with an award and service pin.
Training highlights from 2019 were also noted by Deputy Chief of Training, Karl Neubecker. Many certifications attained and training programs attended by firefighters were recognized. Firefighter Erich Martin and Deputy Chief Karl Neubecker received the 2019 training awards for attending the most hours of training.
The following members were recognized and received Distinguished Service Awards for their involvement with the Squad 143 Apparatus Committee:, Thomas B. Adams, Chairman, Valerie Adams, Brendan L. Burke, Gary T. Feldman, Sr., Robert A. Smith, John W. Turner, Dennis C. Varney, Michael D. Varney and Jack A. Rich II, Chief.
The following members were recognized and received Distinguished Service Awards for their efforts with the SCBA Replacement Committee: Peter Hany, Jr., Chairman, Thomas B. Adams, Dominick Cristelli, Keith Ruff, Gary T. Feldman, Sr., Michael D. Varney, Frederica M. Weeks, and Jack A. Rich II, Chief
Volunteer of the month
Featuring our July member spotlight, Betsi Feldman! Betsi joined the Ellington Volunteer Fire Department 30 years ago in August of 1989, after having been a member of the Ellington Volunteer Ambulance Corp for a little over three years. She decided that between working as a certified surgical technologist and volunteering as an EMT, she had more than her share of medicine and that it was time to branch out, expand her knowledge and learn new skills; with her husband being a member of the fire department, it only seemed natural to join the fire department. Betsi became interested in emergency services after deciding, during her senior year in high school that she didn’t want to go to college right away. While her parents were not enthusiastic of the decision, they were supportive, but insisted that she get a full-time job. Having grown up watching “Emergency” she decided to become an EMT; to that end, she attended night classes two nights a week, during the last half of her senior year in high school. By the time she graduated in 1982, she was a certified EMT and began her emergency services career working for what was then known as Manchester Ambulance.
Over the course of the next several years Betsi took courses in firefighting and eventually gained certification at the level of Firefighter II. Betsi is also an Emergency Medical Services Instructor as well as an American Heart Association First Aid and CPR instructor. Two years ago, she became certified as a Public Information Officer and within the last year completed training in responding to Active Shooter/Hostile Event (ASHER) incidents as well as becoming a Stop the Bleed instructor.
Betsi has served as the department’s Assistant Secretary/Treasurer and for the past 13 years, has served as the department’s Treasurer. She was the carnival chairperson for 12 years, stepping down in 2017. Betsi was the recipient of Firefighter of the Year award in 2004.
Since 2006, Betsi has enjoyed serving as one of the advisors for the department Cadet Program. She currently serves on several committees including the Fire Department Memorial Committee, By-Laws, Health & Safety, as well as the Administrative Directives & Operating Guidelines committee.
When not engaged in fire department activities, Betsi’s “day job” is Dean of Students in the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System formally known as the CT Technical High School System and in her free time she enjoys walking at “The Snip”, biking, camping and playing golf.
When asked what she enjoys most about volunteering, Betsi responded with one of her favorite Rachel Naomi Remen quotes “We bless the life around us far more than we realize. Many simple, ordinary things that we do can affect those around us in profound ways.” Betsi believes, volunteering allows her the ability to affect (hopefully positively) those in the need.
ELLINGTON"S NEW UNIT HAS ARRIVED