Over two dozen Hoboken firefighters honored at Valor Awards ceremony


Over two dozen Hoboken firefighters were honored with a Valor Awards ceremony at City Hall on Wednesday prior to the city’s Memorial Day Parade.

Photo courtesy of the Hoboken Fire Department.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

“Our firefighters put their lives on the line on a daily basis, to keep our city and residents safe. I want to personally thank the entire department, and their families for their courage and dedication to Hoboken,” Mayor Ravi Bhalla, who was unable to attend, said in a statement.

Before their families and peers, members of the HFD were recognized for their dedication, courage, and service dating back to 2019.

The awards recognized captains, battalion chiefs, firefighters, and dispatchers for their outstanding professionalism and often life-saving measures in many situations including major fires, car accidents, medical emergencies, and building collapses.

“The stories told at the awards ceremony are only some examples of the work these men and women do every day, without hesitation. There is no doubt we will continue to hear great things coming from the Hoboken Fire Department’s bravest,” added Public Safety Director Kenneth Ferrante.

“No one becomes a firefighter for the recognition or awards. I am proud of every one of our members for the work they are being honored for, and for the work they do every day,” noted Fire Chief Anton Peskens.

Among the honorees are six members of the elite Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) team who responded to the Newark Shipboard Fire on July 5, 2023.

Battalion Chief Luis Moyeno, Captain Ronald J. Richards, and Firefighters Francis T. Daliani, Jr., Michael Hayes, Kristopher Koukounas, and Steven J. Manzetti received the Commendation of Courage Award for their bravery and professionalism in helping to safely and respectfully recover the body of one of the two fallen firefighters who perished that night.

Other awards included the following:

The Marine Company Unit Citation to Battalion Chief Audra Carter, Captain Joshua Pineiro, and Firefighters Jose M. Padilla and Joseph Taglieri III for a water rescue in Elizabeth on August 11, 2019.

The team observed a distressed swimmer in the Hudson River during a training exercise and safely rescued the individual and a good samaritan who had jumped in to help.

The Ladder Company Unit Citation to Battalion Chief Matthew S. Markey and Firefighters Manzetti and Eugene B. Turonis and The Meritorious Service Award to HFD Dispatcher Thomas Molta for their response to an emergency medical call on July 1, 2021, during which a woman had just given birth in her home.

Dispatcher Molta guided Battalion Chief Markey and Firefighters Manzetti and Turonis to successfully stabilize both mother and baby by properly detaching the umbilical cord and then monitoring both patients until an ambulance arrived.

The Meritorious Service Award to Firefighters Manzetti and Michael Ross for jumping into action after witnessing a potentially life-threatening car crash while off duty in Lyndhurst on September 21, 2022.

The firefighters attended to a man who suffered critical injuries, until an ambulance arrived, helping to save his life.

The Distinguished Action Award to Captain Richards and Firefighters Daliani Jr., and Koukounas for their quick and tireless response to a call of an unresponsive individual in Hoboken on June 11, 2023.

They worked as a team to provide lifesaving measures until, and even after, paramedics arrived, helping to regain a pulse, saving the victim’s life.

The Meritorious Service Award to Battalion Chiefs Jason Cassesa and Joseph Grossi, Captains Christopher Markey and Dominick Casolaro, and Firefighters Brian Caro, Alfredo Perez, Anthony Richards, Charles Santiago, Jose Martinez Jr., Domenick Tarabocchia, David Turner and Matthew Velez who volunteered to cover the City of Newark while members of the Newark Fire Department attended the funerals of fallen Newark firefighters Augusto Acabou and Wayne Brooks on July 13 and July 14, 2023.

This allowed Newark firefighters to properly mourn their losses, without having to worry about the safety and protection of residents.

The Commendation of Valor Award to Battalion Chief Moyeno, Captain Louis Zampella Jr., and Firefighters Michael P. Casazza, Dalliani, Jr., Hector Melendez Jr., Michael J. Ross, and Joseph Spina for safely rescuing a trapped victim during a UASI activation at a building collapse in East Rutherford on October 28, 2023.

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