Matthew J. Pietrzykowski, left, in his NYSP uniform, and Bruce Mack, president of WNYVFA.
Submitted photo, information, and press release:
The Alexander Fire Department is proud to announce that one of its own, Matthew J. Pietrzykowski, was named the Western New York Volunteer Firemen's Association "Firefighter of the Year Award for Heroism" at the 118th annual convention, hosted by the St. Johnsburg and Frontier fire departments in Niagara County.
The convention was held July 27th - 29th. Matt received his award at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 29th at the Annual Awards Ceremony which took place at St. John's Lutheran Church.
According to his nomination letter submitted by the Alexander Fire Department, written by President D.R. Henderschott and Fire Chief Marshall Merle:
In the early morning hours of April 30, 2016, the Alexander Fire Department was called to assist Town of Batavia Fire Department as a FAST team while they worked a house fire.
A quick response team from Alexander prompted command to upgrade Alexander to interior attack. While looking for extension on the second floor of the structure, the ceiling collapsed on a firefighter, disorienting him and making him unable to get out of the strucutre by himself.
Matt was in the same area when the ceiling collapsed. Realizing a firefighter was in need, he radioed a "may day" and went to the down firefighter and assisted him into the bucket of the ladder truck and out of the building.
On the night of May 20, 2016, the Alexander Fire Department FAST team was called to assisted the Town of Batavia Fire Department with a working house fire, unknown if occupied.
Alexander was again moved up to interior attack. Matt and his partner began a search for victims on the first floor while other crews battled the fire. Matt was able to recover two young victims who unofrtunately had already perished.
These two scenarios only begin to shine some light on who Firefighter Matthew Pietrzykowski is, with his steadfast commitment to the Alexander Fire Department.
In other coorespondence, Alexander fire officials said "Thank you for your service Matt!"
Matt was accompanied to the awards ceremony at the convention by his parents, Patrick and Barbara Pietrzykowski, of Bethany, along with his fiancee Rachel Marchewka and their 4-month-old son, Logan, and many members of the Alexander Fire Department.
Matt graduated this spring from the NYSP academy and is assigned to Troop B in Essex County. The NYSP assisted the Alexander Fire Department in arranging for Matt to be at the Awards Ceremony to receive this honor.