JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, May 6, at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown, First Choice Financial Federal Credit Union sponsored the third-annual Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff’s Association Appreciation Breakfast. The breakfast highlights special programs supported by public donations, different Sheriff’s Office employees who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions, and members of the public for heroic acts of courage.

This year, First Choice Financial Federal Credit Union and Sheriff Richard Giardino honored the 911 emergency service dispatchers who make a difference every day by dispatching police, fire, and EMS services to those who need them.

Several were recognized for their efforts in the rescue of Robert Brown, a lieutenant with the Gloversville Police Department. Brown went into the water on February 19 in the evening following the Walleye Challenge on Great Sacandaga Lake. He was saved through joint efforts of dispatchers, who kept him on the phone for 25 minutes while fire and EMS rescuers were trying to find him. They eventually did, with the directions of dispatchers and GPS coordinates.

Lieutenant Brown’s phone died a minute and a half before he was reached. He is still recovering from his injuries.

Those recognized for the rescue of Lieutenant Brown included:

A photo of the dispatchers and first responders honored for rescuing Lieutenant Brown. (Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

Emergency service dispatchers:

  • OIC Twila Dopp
  • David Servello
  • Megan Frasier
  • Jon Vanalstyne

First responders:

  • Mayfield Fire Department Fire and EMS members
    • Chris Mraz, Ralph Marshall, Mark VanAllen, and Amanda Mormile
  • Northville Fire Department
  • Gloversville Fire Chief Tom Groff
  • GAVAC ambulance service members
    • EMT Megan VanNostrand
    • Paramedic Brandon Watson
Others were honored for the rescue of Anthony Zambella. (Photo: Fulton County Sheriff’s Office)

Others were recognized for the heroic rescue of Anthony Zambella, who was involved in a truck accident on April 7 that rendered him unconscious. Three passing motorists, without regard for their own safety, were able to get Zambella out of the truck just minutes before it burst into flames. They stayed with Zambella until an ambulance arrived. He is still in a rehabilitation center.

Those who rescued Zambella were David Bertos, Eric Dutcher, and Aaron Kiffney. Licensed practical nurse (LPN) Joanna Mulberger and Gloversville Police Department Corporal Andrew Wilson took care of Zambella until the ambulance arrived.

Sheriff Giardino also recognized Congresswoman Elise Stefanik for her support for Federal Legislation to include Emergency Service Dispatchers as Professional Public Safety Personnel. The Congresswoman was also honored for her efforts to increase funding and programs for law enforcement, veterans, and active-duty military for mental health and suicide prevention services.

Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is honored by Sheriff Giardino.

More police officers die from suicide than from violent assaults by criminals. Twenty active duty military and veterans die a day by suicide. 30,000 have died that way since 9/11.