Haverhill Exchange Club Honors First Responders, Recognizes Added Challenges of COVID-19

Haverhill Police Officers Adam Durkee and Conor Clark shared the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. (Mike Jarvis photograph for WHAV News.)

In a year that has seen a pandemic globally and public safety leadership changes locally, stability was never questioned thanks to the training, determination and bravery of first responders.

The Haverhill Exchange Club last week named its city firefighter and police officers of the year, as well as an emergency medical person and three correctional officers during a lunch at Maria’s Family Restaurant.

“The COVID-19 pandemic put more pressure on first responders than ever before. As a community, we have relied on you for your strength, courage and perseverance, and to guide us through these trying, unprecedented times. Forever in our history, you will be remembered as the heroes who pulled us through,” said Dan Giuliani, chair of the Exchange Club program.

With both former Haverhill Fire Chief William F. Laliberty and Chief Robert M. O’Brien at his side, Lt. Christopher Cesati accepted the 2021 Fire Fighter of the Year award, while Haverhill Police Officers Conor Clark and Adam Durkee shared the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award with Deputy Police Chief Stephen J. Doherty Jr. in attendance.

Annual awards are typically given to those who go above and beyond the line of duty; receive little recognition; perform in a high-quality manner daily; and act selflessly and participate in activities that support youth and families. This year, Exchange also considered those who exuded bravery, thoughtfulness and creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trinity EMS’ Robert Flumeri helped the company shift from “traditional hands-on emergency medical care to the facilitators of testing sites and vaccine clinics.” For his efforts guiding the company through the COVID waters, including regulation changes, ordering of vaccines, updates and changes to EMS policies, Flumeri was named Emergency Medical Person of the Year.

Similarly, the Essex Sheriff’s Department found creative solutions to mitigate infections at its correctional institutions. Sharing the Correctional Personnel of the Year award were Wellpath Director of Nursing Taylor Smith, Lt. Jotham Garbin and Capt. Rick Ferrari.

Essex County Sheriff Kevin F. Coppinger, Director of Communications Gretchen Grosky and Officer George Arauz were also thanked for presenting a series of videos featuring the work of the honorees.

Haverhill Fire Lt. Christopher Cesati, center, receives his award with former Chief William F. Laliberty, left, and Chief Robert M. O’Brien at his side. (Mike Jarvis photograph for WHAV News.)

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