WESTFIELD — During public participation at last week’s City Council meeting, C. Lee Bennett and the other members of the Fire Commission came forward to recognize the Westfield Fire Department’s sacrifice during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flanked by fellow commissioners Albert Masciadrelli and Jeffrey Siegel, Bennett said earlier this year the commission sent out letters of commendation to members of the Fire Department thanking them for their extraordinary service throughout the past year.
“Tonight, we would like to publicly acknowledge our gratitude and pride to each and every member of the Westfield Fire Department. This commendation was also bestowed on our civilian staff, without whom the everyday function of this well-trained group of individuals, act[ing] unified as a well-coordinated team, could not have accomplished the extraordinary yet everyday tasks required this past 18 months or so,” Bennett said at the Nov. 4 meeting.
“During this past and present epidemic which has encompassed not only our community but the entire world, the members of the Westfield Fire Department have proven themselves each and every day. The dedication to duty and unselfish disregard for their own safety and well being is clearly defined by the title of hero. To the unsung heroes of the WFD, our everlasting gratitude and appreciation goes out to each and every one of you. Thank you for your dedicated service,” she said, after pausing to regain her composure.
Bennett said that Masciadrelli had created a beautiful plaque commemorating and memorializing the Westfield Fire Department’s efforts, and said the commission has asked that the plaque be hung in City Hall so that it may be a reminder to all the citizens of Westfield of the dedication of their Fire Department.
Bennett’s remarks were followed by standing applause and a presentation of the plaque to Council President Brent B. Bean II.
“I know I’m speaking for everybody here — thank you for your service. You represent Westfield every day. We know it was difficult, and we appreciate everyone’s sacrifice,” Bean said.
Keith Supinski, president of Local 1111, the firefighters’ union, spoke on behalf of his members.
“I’ve been up here before telling you how difficult it was. I would like to take this time to thank the commission for this recognition. It means a lot to actually have someone say thank you, and we appreciate it,” Supinski said.