There is a saying around the firehouse that there are some firefighters who wouldn't walk two blocks to a fire if they were on vacation.
Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski, however, would race the trucks there. At one time Czerwinski was getting to the scene of a fire riding on the back of the open cab truck, holding on to just a bar. Now he usually shows up in an SUV, shortly after the first units have. And as age 63 bears down, that race to the fire becomes much more difficult.
After 28 years on the Fire Department, Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro had to retire after being diagnosed with ALS.
He had been a key member of leadership in the department and was viewed as a mentor by most. While he won't jump into the engine when a call comes in, Polidoro's legacy will.
On Tuesday, Matthew Bainbridge and Abigail Lemanski attended the state's 28th annual Firefighter of the Year Awards ceremony.
There hundreds of firefighters from throughout the country were honored for heroic efforts. And the medal of honor was given to posthumously to Watertown Firefighter Joseph A. Toscano. He saw the heroism and they saw the risks.
Two city firefighters were honored by the governor for meritorious conduct.
Lt. Michael D'Avella and Firefighter Robitaille were given awards for meritorious conduct on Tuesday by Gov. Charlie Baker, Public Safety Sec. Daniel Bennett, and Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey.
Everyone goes home.
That's the mantra for the Pittsfield firefighters when they go out on a call. They look to their fellow jakes and expect a high level of professionalism and skill to be right by their side.