Members Recognized at November Monthly Meeting
By Ex Chief Dean W. Pappas
November 11, 2020

Traditionally, Katonah Fire Department has held its annual uniformed Inspection Dinner at the end of October, or in early November. The event usually involves members of visiting departments inspecting Katonah's apparatus and members, and then attending a sit-down dinner where various recognition awards are announced. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, KFD was unable to hold its annual inspection dinner this year. Instead, recognition awards usually given at that dinner were given at the regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, November 10 in the engine room of fire headquarters. The Board of Fire Commissioners gave its Michael J. Vuotto Distinguished Service Award (named after Commissioner and Ex Chief Michael Vuotto) to Ex Chief Dean W. Pappas. The Chiefs' Office presented the 2020 Firefighter of the Year Award to firefighter John Cohen. The 2020 Junior Firefighter of the Year Award was given to Juan Carlos Becerra. Additionally, the Chiefs recognized the department's top 10 responders. Those recognized were:

1. Ex Chief Dean W. Pappas, 221 calls
2. Firefighter Juan Carlos Becerra 211 calls
3. Firefighter Ryan Hayes, 174 calls
4. Firefighter John Cohen, 166 calls
5. Firefighter Jeff Kellogg, 149 calls
6. Sergeant Scott Whalen, 148 calls
7. Lieutenant Brian Lehrer, 137 calls
8. Firefighter Robert DeAlto, 128 calls
9. Firefighter Tom Connolly, 119 calls
10. Ex Chief Bennett Schuberg, 116 calls

A special presentation was also made by the Chiefs to Lieutenant Jeff Waful, for his leadership role in organizing, scheduling and implementing weekly department drills.

The Chiefs and Board of Fire Commissioners thanked the membership for their contributions to protecting the fire district, especially given the tough conditions caused by the COVID pandemic.