VFW presents annual Citizens Awards

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By Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — The VFW Post 1946 will honor six members of the community at its annual Citizens Awards dinner on Sept. 18 at the Crystal Room, 98 School St.

Cash bar opens at noon and dinner will be served at 1 p.m. Tickets are $45 per person. Call Charles Barnsley at 203-233-2318 or Jack LeBlanc at 203-231-8714 for tickets or more information.

This year’s honorees are:

SARAH SULLIVAN: EMT OF THE YEAR

Sarah Sullivan. Contributed

Sarah (Garceau) Sullivan grew up and resides in Oakville. She graduated from Naugatuck High School in 2010, and graduated from Fairfield University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. She began working as an EMT in Naugatuck in the fall of 2014.

Sullivan works full time as a physician assistant at Saint Mary’s Hospital, and still enjoys her shifts and duties as training supervisor at Naugatuck Ambulance.

She said she is thrilled with the changes and growth Naugatuck EMS has made over the last year and cannot wait to see what is to come.

COLIN MCALLISTER: CITIZEN OF THE YEAR

Naugatuck Police Chief Colin McAllister. Contributed

McAllister was appointed to the position of police chief in March having previously served as the department’s deputy chief. McAllister began his career in law enforcement with the Southbury Police Department in 2005 before transferring to the Naugatuck Police Department in 2008. Throughout his career, McAllister served as lieutenant, sergeant, field training officer, and commanded the regional accident investigation team.

He has helped the Naugatuck Community and the Naugatuck Police Department with many positive contributions. McAllister hold various degrees in criminal justice and public administration.

BRYAN CONEY: POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Bryan Coney. Contributed

Coney is a 17-year veteran of the Naugatuck Police Department, and is currently Patrolman No. 1, signifying the patrolman with the highest seniority. Coney has worked in various capacities throughout those 17 years, including school resource officer, field training officer, and bicycle patrol officer. He is currently the department’s administrative officer, making him an integral part of the day-to-day operations of the department.

Coney has received many awards while with the Naugatuck Police Department, including multiple Naugatuck Police Department Life Saving and Police Service Awards.

Coney served in the Army for 11 years as a medic, including a wartime deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001-02. He received the Combat Medic Badge and Army Commendation Medals for risking his life to save others.

DAVID CHRISTOFF: FIRE FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

David Christoff. Contributed

Christoff was hired by the Naugatuck Fire Department in March 2003. However, he brought to Naugatuck over 30 years of previous experience which has used for the betterment of the Naugatuck Fire Department. His fire service career began in March 1972 when he became a volunteer firefighter on Long Island.

In April 1977, he was hired by the Waterbury Fire Department where he served for 22 years before retiring with the rank of deputy chief. He then served as deputy chief of operations for Middletown’s South District Fire Department.

He then opted to begin his career anew by returning to his roots as a firefighter for the Borough of Naugatuck.

Christoff has served as a fire service instructor and holds various firefighting certifications has been awarded numerous citations from both Waterbury Firefighters Local 1339 and from the Naugatuck Fire Department.

JOHN ‘JACK’ LEBLANC: VETERAN OF THE YEAR

John “Jack” LeBlanc. Contributed

Leblanc entered the Marine Corps in July 1971 and became an infantryman. He served in Vietnam from March 1972 to March 19 73 with the Marine Advisory Unit. Following that assignment, he went on embassy duty in Luxembourg.

After being discharged from the Marines he re-enlisted in the Army as an infantrymen during November 1974 with the rank of staff sergeant. He served in various assignments and reclassified into the field artillery in 1980. During this period, he was promoted to sergeant first class. In November 1982 he attended Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, Gerorgia, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in March 1983.

He has been heavily involved in the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and The Marine Corps League at post, district and state levels. Currently, he is the VFW Post 1946 senior vice commander.

DANNY MARTINS: VOLUNTEER FIRE/POLICE OF THE YEAR

Martins was not available.