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Two heroic firefighters among honorees

Updated: February 26, 2010, 9:03 am /
Published: February 26, 2010, 7:50 am

Two Buffalo firefighters who died in the line of duty will be among 10 local people honored by the 100 Club of Buffalo at its annual Hero Awards Dinner at 6 p. m. today in the Country Club of Buffalo, 250 Youngs Road, Amherst.

Posthumous awards will be presented to the survivors of Lt. Charles “Chip” McCarthy and Firefighter Jonathan Croom, who died last August while battling a three-alarm blaze at an East Side deli.

McCarthy, a 22-year Fire Department veteran, became trapped in the two-story brick building while making sure firefighters had evacuated. Croom, a 10-year veteran, also became trapped when he attempted to rescue McCarthy.

Five law enforcement officers, a physician, a good Samaritan and an attorney are also among those scheduled to be honored:

• State Trooper Matt D. Luft, for rescuing the victim of a rollover crash from his car last February after it landed in a swampy area off Route 104 in the Town of Murray, Orleans County.

• University at Buffalo Police Officers Jonathan Fletcher and Sean Ford, for rescuing a father and daughter from Lake LaSalle on the UB North Campus in May after they had ventured into the water to save their struggling dog.

• Niagara County Sheriff’s Deputy Roger C. Schreader II, for saving two victims trapped in their cars, one of which was on fire, following a two-car crash in August on South Transit Road in the Town of Lockport.

• Village of Hamburg Police Officer Sean Gallagher, for helping free a man trapped under a commercial lawnmower after it flipped over and became stuck in a creek behind a house in November.

• Dr. Dietrich Jehle, a member of the emergency staff at Erie County Medical Center, and Michael Byham, an ironworker, for freeing a 6-year-old girl and a 7- year-old boy in September from a burning car following an eight-car accident on the Niagara Thruway.

•Attorney Terrence M. Connors and his legal team at Connors & Vilardo, for pro bono legal service on behalf of the 100 Club in its attempt to expand the interpretation of the federal Public Safety Officers Benefit Act for the U. S. Coast Guard.

The 100 Club provides assistance to the members of police, fire and emergency medical services and their families.