Two honorees who help others


We want to salute two outstanding members of our community who have made Rome and its environs a better place to live.

Rome Fire Lt. Brian Townsend was named as the Firefighter of the Year by the Oneida County Fire Chiefs Association.

Eve Van de Wal was recognized by Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, as a 2021 New York State Woman of Distinction. 

Both individuals were recognized for their efforts to help others.

Townsend, a 15-year veteran of the department, was honored for his rescue efforts in a boat collision on Fourth Lake in Herkimer County in September 2020. According to Chief Thomas Iacovissi, Townsend was off-duty with his family at a nearby camp when he was made aware of the nearby crash. Townsend rushed to the scene and was one of the first to arrive. Townsend began triage and treatment of the injured people, and was there to manage the scene so that Town of Webb police officers could focus on other crucial tasks.

Sen. Griffo noted about Van de Wal: “It is an honor to recognize Eve as a New York State Woman of Distinction. From her time as a nurse in the Critical Care Unit of Faxton Hospital to her current role as regional president of the Utica/North Country region for Excellus BlueCrossBlueShield, Eve has made it a priority to give back and help others. She is a positive force in the community and region and is committed to improving the lives of residents and families throughout Upstate New York.”

Again, congratulations to the two honorees. Both deserve the accolades they have received for their support and contributions to the community.


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