One Columbus Fire Battalion Chief, one Lieutenant and two Firefighters will be honored on Friday, October 15, 2021 by the Benjamin Franklin Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Fire Chief Jeffrey Happ announced today. Fire Battalion Chief Sandra Loeper, Lieutenant George Wallace and Firefighters James Janoski and William Longenette will be presented with medals and certificates during the organization’s annual noon luncheon meeting at TAT Ristorante de Famiglia in Columbus, Ohio.
The EMS Medal will be presented to Firefighters James Janoski and William Longenette who have shown dedication to the position in performing their duty with Battalion Chief Sandra Loeper, who will be presented the Heroism Award for actions taken on December 5, 2020 when she saved a woman from falling off a third floor balcony.
Firefighter Janoski “Shaggy”, a 27 year veteran of the department, has been a paramedic for over 20 years. He spent the majority of his career at Station 18 and just recently transferred to Station 30.
Firefighter Longenette, a 23 year veteran of the department, has been a paramedic for over 18 years. Bill has been assigned to Station 1 for his entire career.
After all of these years of serving the citizens of Columbus while assigned to extremely busy medic vehicles, they both have stepped up once again as the pioneering members of Stroke 1, 1-Unit, to which they ride every day. Stroke 1, a partnership with the Central Ohio Hospital Systems, provides state of the art on-scene stroke care to Central Ohio residents. Both members also teach stroke care within the division and other Central Ohio fire departments.
Battalion Chief Sandra Loeper is awarded the Heroism Award. While responding to a report of fire with people trapped, Chief Loeper observed an occupant on the balcony rail in obvious distress. Battalion Chief Loeper climbed to the balcony to try and calm the victim down. In her distress, the victim crawled over the balcony rail and fell head first. Chief Loeper was able to grab the victim by the ankle, holding her dangling there until help arrived to stabilize the victim. She was safely removed down a stairwell where she was treated by medics.
Fire Lieutenant George Wallace will be presented with the Life Saving Commendation. Lieutenant Wallaceis in good standing and has spent many hours both on duty and off to supporting our members and members of other Central Ohio departments, both police and fire, in their time of need. His commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of our members as part of the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) team has saved countless careers and families as they struggle with acute and chronic stress related to the job. Lieutenant Wallace helps to get members help on off days as well as duty days seven days a week. Lieutenant Wallace exemplifies the characteristics and work ethic that this award is wanting to recognize.