NEW YORK MILLS, N.Y. - Retired Utica Fire Chief, Russ Brooks, was honored at Engine 11's 88th annual dinner Thursday evening at Twin Ponds in New York Mills.
Chief Brooks was honored for his 43 years of service to the city of Utica. He was also the guest speaker at Thursday's dinner and he reflected on his time with the Utica Fire Department.
"The highlight of my career was going to ground zero on September 11 and assisting New York City fire fighters with a team of Utica fire fighters," Brooks said. "I thought that I had seen and experienced everything that I could possibly experience, and we got to ground zero, that was surreal."
Also at tonight's dinner, Lt. William Scherer was honored as this year's Fire Fighter of the year.
Scherer joined the department in 2009. Utica Fire Chief, Scott Ingersoll, spoke about Scherer, calling him an "outstanding firefighter."
Scherer said recieving the award was humbling.
Engine 11 also recognized it's new officers for the 2019-2020 year.