Massena Men Named Firefighters Of The YearPosted: Updated:
People filled the room Friday for a ceremony held by the Northern New York Volunteer Fireman's Association as part of its annual convention.
It was a time to announce the title for firefighter of the year.
"We recognize outstanding bravery and outstanding commitment and it gives a good name to all of the firefighters," said NNYVFA Awards Committee Chairman Bruce Buckingham.
This year, the honor went to not one, not two, but seven firefighters, all members of the Massena Volunteer Fire Department.
On February 22, 2017, the department responded to a house fire on Route 420. Multiple adults who were downstairs got out of the building, but a five year old boy was trapped upstairs.
"All of our training kicked in. We train a lot throughout the year. It just all kicked in and we did what we had to do," said
Jason Newcombe, one of the recognized Massena firefighters.
Firefighters found the child, Aiden Riley, and got him out of the building. But unfortunately, Aiden passed away.
Despite the tragic outcome, the men say they're proud of their efforts and the work they did that night.
"It wasn't the outcome we wanted, but we did what we were trained to do," said Newcombe.
"When they came to fighting the fire, they jumped right on board and ran right inside without even worrying about themselves," said Michael Macaulay, recognized Massena fire captain.
And it's something they practice every day.
"Our guys work really hard, day in and day out, 365 days a year. I'm proud of everybody," said James Debien, recognized Massena firefighter.
The ceremony was held in the Lewis County town of Denmark.