UTICA, N.Y. – Local first responders were honored Monday at an awards ceremony held by Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon.
“First responders are on the front lines every day to keep our loved ones safe from harm,” Buttenschon said. “These local heroes deserve our utmost gratitude for their bravery and commitment to making the Mohawk Valley such a tremendous place to live. It was truly an honor to recognize these selfless and courageous men and women, and I want to thank everyone who attended for showing their support.”
Six first responders were honored at the inaugural event after being nominated by family, friends and other community members.
A paramedic and Utica Fire Department, Martina Titus, was honored at the ceremony, and says her entire department deserves to be recognized.
"My sister nominated me. It's pretty awesome, I'm excited and happy about it. I can't do it without my department, obviously we work as a team and I think we all deserve credit for it, everybody who's here. Again, it's awesome and I really appreciate it. I'm greatful for it," she said.
Titus has been with the UFD for six years, completing the academy and training all while raising her children as a single mother.
Those honored included: Brian McQueen, retired volunteer fire chief of the Whitesboro Fire Department; Michael Haas of the Whitesboro Fire Department; Martina Titus of the Utica Fire Department; Carey Phair of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office; James Laurey of the Utica Police Department; and Zachary Ambrose of the Utica Police Department.