The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to recognize individuals whose extraordinary efforts over a prolonged period of time led to a dramatic, lasting improvement in Fire/Rescue or Emergency Medical Services in the town of Cromwell. The award was first given in 1998.
2004: Edward F. Deming
"Butch" Deming was captain of the fire police for several years as well as an honored and respected firefighter.
2003: William C. Lee
Former Chief Bill Lee was honored for his long-term dedication to Cromwell and to the highest ideals of the fire service.
2002: Oren "Rebel" Cleland
"Rebel" has served our department well and faithfully since 1962. Offices held include Engineer and Chief of the Fire Police. Countless hours were spent on the roadways in and around Cromwell, directing motorists around emergency scenes and helping to keep our members safe. He retired from Pratt & Whitney.
2001: Homer Ambler
Joined the CFD in 1953. Held the positions of Engineer, Asst. Chief Engineer, Chief Engineer, 2nd Asst. Chief, 1st Asst. Chief, Fire Marshal, Training Officer. Became Life Member in 1987
2000: Richard "Deke" Watrous
Former Fire Chief Deke Watrous was honored for his many years of service to our department and community.
1999: Jim Pagano and Parker Roberts
Parker Roberts was honored for his years of dedication and for improving emergency care in Cromwell. He joined the Ambulance Division in 1980 and retired in 1991, having served 2 years as VP and 3 years as President. During his years we went from one Cadillac ambulance to one van and one "modular." Responses nearly doubled, from less than 500 to more than 900 calls per year. He responded to more than 1600 calls, including the first LifeStar helicopter response in Cromwell on West Street at Community Field (2-car crash 100 yds. from the West St. firehouse). Also, during his tenure many of the EMS members upgraded certification to "EMT Plus" which included MAST (anti-shock trousers) and EGTA (advanced airway management).
Parker and Jim also coordinated EMS coverage for the first Greater Hartford Open golf tournament held in Cromwell, in 1984. Middlesex Hospital provided the MD coverage and we provided about 70 volunteer EMTs. Coverage began on Monday of GHO week and ended the following Sunday, a day that featured extreme heat and more than 80,000 crunched around the 18th hole for the finish. We covered the town and the event using both Cromwell rigs and one from Rocky Hill.
1998: William Gibb
Bill joined our department as a firefighter in 1982, and has held many positions during his tenure. He served as an engineer from 1984-1986, then as Chief Engineer from 1987-1990. In 1990 he was elected Captain, and served 5 years with various responsibilities, including Rescue Captain. In addition to field duties, in 1995 he became a dispatcher. He returned to the office of Chief Engineer for 1996, served with the Fire Police for 1997, and retired from active service in 1998. He became a certified Emergency Medical Dispatcher and continues to serve in our communications center.
Among other accomplishments, Bill Gibb was responsible for bringing the first Medical Response Technician course to our department for Rescue Squad members; for selecting our fist cold water rescue suits; for procuring our larger Zodiac inflatable rescue boat; and for designing our "twins," Engine 1 and Engine 2.