The Harrison American Legion presented its annual Police Officer and Firefighter of the Year Awards for 2016 last Sunday, April 2, at the Elks hall.
The awards are given in recognition of those individuals “whose performance has proven to be consistently excellent throughout the past year.”
Police Officer Joseph Sloan, the Harrison Police Department’s honoree, has only been on the force since 2015 but he’s made his presence known.
During 2016, Sloan “was the top producer in the police department, making 61 arrests,” according to a statement issued by HPD Det. Lt. David Doyle.
In particular, Doyle said, Sloan was credited for the following actions:
And, in general, Sloan “earned the respect of his supervisors and fellow officers, garnering several favorable write-ups,” said Doyle.
Sloan is currently assigned to a crime suppression unit “as a direct result of his work ethic and patrol tactics,” Doyle said.
Firefighter Ray Tremer III, the HFD’s awardee, was credited with helping savethe life of an infant who was brought directly to the firehouse on Sussex St. on the afternoon of June 3, 2016.
Tremer told The Observer he was reviewing paperwork with Capt. Joe Nichirco and Lt. Joe Faugno when suddenly, “there was the loudest knock I ever heard – someone was pounding on the door.”
Investigating, the firefighters found two people standing at the entrance – a man and a distraught woman holding her baby who had stopped breathing.
“The child’s color had turned grey and, just from looking, you get that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that things are not good,” Tremer said.
He said the trio – all trained as EMTs – determined that the child had experienced a seizure of some kind. “He needed to be cooled down and given oxygen.”
Immediately, the firefighters called for MONOC, the town’s emergency ambulance, and, while that crew was enroute, “all three of us started working on the kid, doing ‘rescue breathing,’ ” Tremer said.
They applied a bag valve mask hooked up to oxygen to the child’s face, in an effort to facilitate breathing, and within about eight minutes, the baby showed signs of responding, going from gray to flush to pink, Tremer said.
MONOC then rushed the 2-year-old boy to a hospital in Newark where child was later reported doing well.
Tremer said the firefighters later learned that the woman, a town resident, had been running down Seventh St. with her baby looking for help when a man – later identified as Khayree Taylor – stopped her and asked what was wrong.
After learning the baby’s condition, Taylor “threw them in his truck and drove to the firehouse,” Tremer said.
Tremer, who was hired by the HFD Nov. 10, 2014, said his squad “got a save last Wednesday night with an older woman who had gone unconscious” while home with her family. “Hopefully, she’s alright now,” he said.
Harrison Fire Director Harold Stahl said: “He’s a good man. I’d take a dozen like him if I could get them.”
Tremer’s dad is a former member of the FDNY, having served 18 years with a rescue company until his retirement in 1999 – three years after his unit was involved in an unsuccessful rescue mission.
“He was trained as a SCUBA diver and he responded after TWA Flight 800 exploded over Long Island and crashed in the ocean [July 17, 1996],” Tremer recalled.
There were no survivors.