5 SLVFD Members Named "Northern NY Volunteer Fireman's Association" "Fireman of the Year"
By SLVFD Newsroom
June 12, 2017

Recently 5 Members of the SLVFD where honored by the Northern NY Volunteer Fireman's Association as "Firefighter of the Year" Below is the article posted in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise dated 7/10/2017. Following the Enterprise article is a historic summary of SLVFD members being cited as "Firefighter of the Year"

Adirondack Daily Enterprise 7/10/2017:
"He had five angels there that day, SLVFD members honored for saving fellow firefighter in rooftop fall"

"SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department has won the Firefighter of the Year award for the second consecutive year, this time for saving one of their own.

In a ceremony held Friday in Lake Placid, the site of the Northern New York Volunteer Fireman’s Association annual convention, firefighters James Stinson, Douglas Peck, Trevor Keough, Edmund Woodard and Kenneth McLaughlin were saluted for “providing assistance above and beyond the call of duty.”

The award dates to Nov. 16 of last year, when the department’s members got together to decorate the Broadway firehouse for the holidays. McLaughlin, Stinson and Woodard were on the ground below the station’s middle bay while firefighter Don “Moose” Jones was on the roof above them, stringing Christmas lights.

“That’s when I blacked out,” Jones recalled Friday. “All I remember is my fingers tingling and waking up in the emergency room.”

McLaughlin said he was watching from below when he saw Jones start to have “some type of episode.”

“I don’t know what it was, but I let out a yell for somebody to grab him,” McLaughlin said.

Peck and Keough were up on the roof with Jones at the time. They were connecting lights to a power supply near the department’s radio tower when they heard yelling.

“We could see he was going to roll right off the roof,” said fire Chief Brendan Keough, who watched the incident unfold from the department’s ladder truck. “Doug was closest to him and initially grabbed him, and Trevor was able to grab him, and they were able to hold him for a split second and re-position his body. That gave the other three guys on the ground time to position themselves under him.”

Peck and Trevor Keough, the chief’s son, held on to the then-250-pound Jones as long as they could before he fell off the roof a distance of about 18 feet, right into Stinson, McLaughlin and Woodard.

“As he fell, Jim was the one right in the center, and (Jones) literally came down and hit Jim chest to chest and knocked him down,” Brendan Keough said. “Ed was there to break his fall on one end, and Kenny on the other side, but Jim took the brunt of it.”

“He was coming head-first,” McLaughlin said, “and if he hadn’t been grabbed…”

“It’s a miracle,” Brendan Keough. “He had five angels there that day.”

Jones didn’t get out of the incident unscathed, however. He suffered a concussion and a separated and fractured clavicle. He was rushed to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, then taken to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

“They thought I had a broken back but I didn’t,” Jones said. “I was home in two days. I’m very fortunate. I don’t have words. The fact that I’m here, and I was able to spend Christmas with my family, I’m humbled. These guys are brothers, my family.”

The firefighters were recognized for their heroics in a ceremony Friday at the Adirondack Community Church in Lake Placid, which was packed with North Country firefighters in town for the Northern New York Volunteer Fireman’s Association convention.

“Firefighters Stinson, Peck, Keough, McLaughlin and Woodard’s quick actions no doubt saved Don’s life and minimized his injuries,” said the association’s Bruce Buckingham.

“It’s a huge honor for these guys, very well deserved,” Keough said. “They downplayed it, and we kept it pretty quiet until now.”

This is the second consecutive year Saranac Lake firefighters have taken home Firefighter of the Year honors, which Buckingham said is very rare. Last year, Casey Taylor was cited for “valor and exceptional bravery” for saving a local resident during an apartment fire on Oct. 4, 2015."

The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department is very proud of its members who have been nominated, and selected for Fireman of the Year and Meritrious Service awards.

Below is a brief history of the SLVFD being selected for these awards.

1982: Kent Robinson and Kevin Tuthill were selected Firefighter of the Year for their part in saving the lives of 7 people at the 1981 Berkley Hotel fire. This was the first time the award was given to a team and not a single individual.

1989: SLVFD Honor Roll Member Ed Hoyt was a member of the Paul Smiths Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department at the time of the incident when he was named Firefighter of the Year for his action in rescuing a woman from a burning building in Paul Smiths.

During the 1990's Paid Driver Ronnie Muncil received the Meritorious Service Award for laddering an apartment building on Franklin Avenue and rescuing a woman via a window from a burning building with no other egress.

Also during the 1990's 5 SLVFD members shared the Meritorious Service Award. Robert Nadon, Mike Dupree, Dave Martelle, Ken McLaughlin, and Wade Sullivan were honored for life saving actions when 2 pulseless victims were retrieved from a submerged vehicle and then successfully resuscitated. This incident happened on the Old Ray Brook Road when the vehicle accidently drove into the pond near the Scarface Mountain trailhead.

In 2012 the Firefighter of the year award shared by Brendan Keough, John Duchaine, Aaron Donaldson, and John Derby for rescuing a man from within a burning apartment on the second floor of the Prescott house on Franklin Avenue.

In 2015 Casey Taylor was honored for saving a person from a burning apartment on River Street.

In 2016 Ed Woodard, Doug Peck, Trevor Keough, Ken McLaughlin, and Jim Stinson were honored as Firefighter of the Year for saving the life of SLVFD Lieutenant Don Jones during a rooftop fall.

The SLVFD is very proud of our award recipients and the heroic tradition of "Saving Lives and Property Since 1891"

Standing L-R Jim Stinson, Doug Peck, Ed Woodard, Ken McLaughlin, Trevor Keough.  Kneeling SLVFD Lieutenant Don Jones.
Standing L-R Jim Stinson, Doug Peck, Ed Woodard, Ken McLaughlin, Trevor Keough. Kneeling SLVFD Lieutenant Don Jones.
SLVFD Members on the right stand with recipients during award ceremony.
SLVFD Members on the right stand with recipients during award ceremony.
L-R Trevor Keough, Ed Woodard, Doug Peck, Jim Stinson, and Ken McLaughlin.  Behind and right of Ken McLaughlin is Chief Brendan Keough.
L-R Trevor Keough, Ed Woodard, Doug Peck, Jim Stinson, and Ken McLaughlin. Behind and right of Ken McLaughlin is Chief Brendan Keough.