September 21, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
73°F

Flag Day celebration highlights heroic Medina Twp. firefighters

Boy Scout Troop 462 retires the American flag outside of the Medina Township Maintenance Building on Saturday as part of the annual Flag Day ceremony. The Scouts replaced the flag with a new one. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

Boy Scout Troop 462 retires the American flag outside of the Medina Township Maintenance Building on Saturday as part of the annual Flag Day ceremony. The Scouts replaced the flag with a new one. (DAVID KNOX / GAZETTE)

A dozen township firefighters were honored for saving three lives last month.

Medina Township fire Cap. Mark Roberts and Lt. Scott Vargo presented the life saving awards Saturday at Medina Township’s annual Flag Day ceremony.

Members of the Medina County Honor Guard give the 21-gun salute during the annual Flag Day service in Medina Township. The township retired the flag that flies outside of the maintenance garage on Weymouth Road. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Members of the Medina County Honor Guard give the 21-gun salute during the annual Flag Day service in Medina Township. The township retired the flag that flies outside of the maintenance garage on Weymouth Road. (ANDREW DAVIS / GAZETTE)

Roberts awarded firefighters Mark Radice, Sean Kavlick, Daniel Gazzo and Alex Elioff for rescuing Medina resident Tyler Kitson and Fox 8 weatherman Dick Goddard from flood waters on May 12.

Kitson found refuge in a tree after attempting to save the life of 83-year-old Goddard when Plum Creek overflowed at the state Route 3 exit of Interstate 71 in torrential rains. Goddard was trapped in his car for about 45 minutes. Kitson was able to get out of his car and climbed a tree to stay above the water.

Firefighters Chris Shuster, Mike Stopa, Michael Pieowiak, Mike Zevchek, Katherine Holland and Jason Smith received Certificates of Commendations for their help in the event.

Three other township firefighters — Brian Mummert, Bobby Keister and Mark Radice — received life saving awards after resuscitating a man who went into cardiac arrest while driving his car through a Home Depot parking lot on May 4.

Home Depot employee Richard Elliot and customer Justin Meister, who broke the rear, driver’s side window to unlock the door and shut the car off, received special recognition.

Home Depot employees Mallory Velick and Steve Lowery, who performed CPR on the victim until emergency personnel arrived, also received awards.

More than 75 residents, emergency workers, Boy Scouts and public officials attended the ceremony on Saturday afternoon at Blakeslee Park.

Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder presented three elementary school children with commendations from his office for their essays about what the American flag means to them.

The first place winner, Alexandria Henry from Northrop Elementary School, wrote about how the flag means loyalty, freedom and justice.

Henry was presented a $100 savings bond while second place winner, Rachel Smith from Blake Elementary School, was awarded a $50 savings bond, while third place winner, Reece Lloyd was given a $25 dollar savings bond.

The winner of the annual Flag Day design contest was township resident Donald Fisher, who donated his $50 savings bond award to the townships Shop With a Cop program.

The event has been held annually for six years. Trustee Mike Todd came up with the idea after thinking that Flag Day did not get the attention that it deserves.

At the end of the ceremony, the flag that flies outside the maintenance building was retired by Boy Scout Troop 462.

After the ceremonies, residents celebrated the 239th birthday of the U.S. Army with a cake cutting and participated in an exhibition softball game where proceeds went to the township’s Shop with a Cop program.

“The flag represents everything that is good about us,” Mike Carlson of Carlson Funeral Home said in his keynote address.

“I would suggest that the next time you look at the flag that you are actually looking at us.”

Contact reporter Andrew Davis at (330) 721-4050 or adavis@medina-gazette.com.