Ex-fire chiefs of the Greenlawn and Cold Spring Harbor volunteer fire departments were among several volunteer firefighters to be recognized last month for their heroic actions and extraordinary service.
Both Greenlawn ex-Fire Chief Scott Dalrymple and Cold Spring Harbor ex-Fire Chief Jack Italiano Jr. were among those recognized Sept. 25 at the Suffolk County Medal of Valor ceremony.
Dalrymple, a 20-year member of the Greenlawn Fire Department, and its chief from 2011-2012, received the “Frank L. Obremski Coordinator of the Year Award” for his outstanding service.
Dalrymple is one of five deputy fire coordinators for the Town of Huntington who respond to all major emergencies in the town and across the county.
Italiano, a 35-year fire service veteran who served as Cold Spring Harbor’s chief in 1991, was presented with the Vocational Education and Extension Board’s “Silver Medal of Valor” for the heroic actions he took to free a car accident victim from the wreckage.
On Aug. 28, 2015 at around 6:30 p.m., Italiano was returning home from the Cold Spring Harbor Fire Department after an earlier alarm when he drove into heavy traffic at the intersection of County Road 108 and Woodbury Road. He was alerted by a bystander that there was a car overturned in the woods, and that there was aa a woman trapped inside it.
Italiano immediately instructed one of the bystanders to call 911 as he entered the woods to evaluate the severity of the accident.
When Italiano made contact with the victim, who was pinned and trapped inside the vehicle, he determined she was very unstable and he needed to initiate a rapid extrication. He then positioned himself with his back lying on the roof of the inverted car and released the victim’s seatbelt in order to remove her from the driver’s seat. In doing so, Italiano was then pinned under the victim, but she was in a safer position for access when the rescue crews were able to force entry into the car.
Italiano was positioned underneath the victim for around 30 minutes as rescue crews utilized Hurst tools in close proximity.
Upon extrication, the victim was brought to Stony Brook hospital via helicopter.
Italiano is also a former member of both the Huntington and Huntington Manor fire departments.