The has announced that this year’s recipients of their annual Public Safety Awards are: East Haven Firefighters Joseph Ciscone and Brian Wilonski; as well as retired East Have Police Lt. James Landers, who will be honored posthumously.
As is customary, the awards will be presented at the Rotary’s annual Installation of Officers Dinner, which this year will be held on Thursday, June 28.
The event will take place at Amarante’s Sea Cliff on 62 Cove Street in New Haven. Following a 6 p.m. social hour, dinner will be presented at 7 p.m., with tickets available for $45 per person.
East Haven Firefighter/MRT has been a member of the department since 1987. In addition to Joe being a huge part of the success of the fire department’s annual , he has organized fundraisers for individuals who have been stricken with cancer and unable to work, as well as helping coordinate toy donations for families in need at Christmas time.
While vacationing in August of 2011, Joe was in a restaurant and noticed a woman chocking. He immediately did not hesitate and performed the proper technique to remove the blockage from the woman’s airway, saving her life.
Ciscone lives with his wife and four daughters, which many feel is the reason for another award.
Brian Wilonski is currently a Firefighter/Paramedic for Squad 5, having been a member of the department for more than eight years. In January 2011, following assisting at a particularly difficult “strip mall” fire, Wilonski responded to a .
On his arrival, Wilonski observed a trapped victim waving through smoke from the second story window. As he was ascending the ladder, the victim fell backwards into the room.
Brian reached into the smoke filled room to locate the victim and carried him to safety and administered medical care. The victim was treated and later released from the hospital.
Lt. James Patrick Landers, who unfortunately passed away in April of this year, began his career with the in 1975. Prior to his police career, Landers was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army ROTC and served in Vietnam.
In 1985 he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and later in 1993, to lieutenant where he primarily supervised the midnight shift for many years. James supervised the midnight shift with precision and those who worked for him will never forget how much he cared for the people he was responsible for.
Before retiring in 2006 James received many letters of commendation that he humbly never spoke of, and were later found by his wife Carol after his passing.
He is survived by his wife Carol of 43 years, and his children Kerry and Sean.
Club Leadership Update
Current President Frank Gentilesco, Jr. will be turning over the gavel to as the club’s new president, along with the following officers:
- President-elect, Robert Parente
- Treasurer, Carl Ruggiero
- Sergeant at Arms, Donna Coleman.
In addition, the club will be awarding two scholarships to high school students and honoring them at this year’s dinner event.
Each year the club provides a $1,000 scholarship in the name of former member Vincent Balletto, MD, to a graduating student.
The club will also be awarding another $1,000 scholarship to be given to one of last year’s EH Rotary “," who will now be graduating.
East Haven Rotary
The club now in its 73rd year was organized on March 3, 1939 and held its first meeting and was admitted to membership in Rotary International on March 13th of the same year. Since that time the club has remained dedicated and committed to improving the community and citizens of East Haven.
Through its annual scholarship program and Student of the Month, the club recognizes and encourages achievement of high school students. identification cards, , free and annual distribution of holiday food baskets are some of its other volunteer activities.