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First Responders Honored at Waterbury Hospital During EMS Week



Waterbury HEALTH’s Emergency Medical Services Awards Banquet honored first responders, nurses, teachers, and administrators. Among those honored were administrators at Maple Hill Elementary School in Naugatuck who saved the life of third-grader Abel who collapsed in class.

Abel and his father Abel, Sr. also handed out life-saving awards to Naugatuck Ambulance and Naugatuck Police officials:

Life Saving Citation – Naugatuck Ambulance

Chery A. Kane, Kristin Charest, Kelly Hogan-Bellerieve, Cindy Rodrigues, Elizabeth Binette, Diane Marino, Kelly Rosikiewicz, Scott Erfe, Patricia Silver, Naugatuck Ambulance Chief Kyle Kelley, Paramedic Ray Beach, EMT Gretchen Carlson; EMT Casey McCraft, EMT Kristen Trzaski, EMT William Shaw, EMT Kristen Bellemare

Life Saving Citation - Naugatuck Police Department

Sgt. Michael Deely, Officer Mark Robinson, Officer Danielle Durette

Life Saving Citation - Maple Hill Elementary School

Kristin Charest, R.N., Kelly Hogan-Bellerive, L.P.N., Cindy Rodrigues, Special Education Teacher, Elizabeth Binette, Special Education Teacher, Diane Marino, Paraprofessional, Kelly Rosikiewicz, Paraprofessional, Scott Erfe, Family Liaison, Patricia Silver, Secretary, Cheryl A. Kane, Principal

Fully recovered of a cardiac episode, Abel, and his father hugged teachers and first as the dramatic save was retold. Teachers and school staff sprang into action performing CPR and shocking Abel to life until, first Naugatuck police officers, and then Naugatuck Ambulance providers could take over. Abel was taken to Waterbury Hospital, then at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Also honored were EMS and firefighters from Beacon Hose Company #1 and Naugatuck Ambulance who saved the life of a Jailisa Reyes of Bridgeport who was hit by a wrong way driver on Route 8. Her dramatic rescue story and miraculous recovery were also retold. Reyes, wearing a leg prosthesis, walked to the stage with her son, to give the award to her rescuers.

Unit Citation:

Beacon Hose Company #1, Naugatuck Ambulance

Lifetime Achievement Citation:

John Pudlinski, Litchfield, 50 years of Service

Lifetime Achievement Citation:

Steven Savage, Northwest Public Safety, 40 years of service

Outstanding Provider Citation:

Nicholas Desmarais, Christian Hotchkiss, Christopher Beson, Beacon Hose Company #1 Paramedic Colin Radke, American Medical Response,

FTO Tara Wheeler, American Medical Response

Organizational Excellence:

Southbury Ambulance Association,

For work on a successful ALS upgrade to better serve the community.

Naugatuck Ambulance,

For work on a successful reorganization with life-saving results to the community.

Organizational Excellence:

For Work on Community COVID-19 vaccination

Naugatuck Fire Department,

Waterbury Fire Department,

Watertown Fire Department,

Beacon Hose Company #1,

Lichfield Ambulance,

Heritage Village Safety and Security


The Waterbury HEALTH EMS Awards received coverage from NBC Connecticut, learn more:

NBC Connecticut