West Haverstraw volunteer firefighter Andrew Kolesar has been awarded the Medal of Valor from the town of Haverstraw.
The award ceremony was held at the recent Haverstraw Town Board meeting.
The Haverstraw police and the West Haverstraw Volunteer Hose color guards performed, along with the Rockland County Police Emerald Society pipes and drums, to honor the recognition.
Kolesar saved the life of fellow volunteer, Kenneth Patterson, whose air pack ran out in a burning building on Jan. 14, 2011.
Kolesar, who was in the building’s pitch-dark second floor, heard Patterson’s mayday call from the radio as well as from somewhere near him. Using a thermal imaging camera, Kolesar located Patterson, whose face mask was already taken off after it collapsed because of lack of air.
Patterson was searching for residents in the burning, which later turned out to be illegally converted.
Photo courtesy of Alex Guarino, assistant to Haverstraw town Supervisor Howard Phillips.