Mayor honors paramedic
By Katelyn Gendron-List, Staff Writer
AGAWAM There was nothing but humble heart-felt sincerity on the face of Paul Fenn as Mayor Richard Cohen presented him with the citation for Paramedic of the Year at Town Hall on May 29.
"I'm speechless," Fenn said. "I'm honored to receive this citation, and honored to have been given the title of spokesman on behalf of a system that can't excel without the cooperation of the Mayor's Office, the Fire Department, and the Fire Department Union."
Fenn, a third generation firefighter, and firefighter himself for almost 10 years, was honored on behalf of the Hampden County EMS Committee for his outstanding service and dedication to the Agawam Fire Department.
"This citation shows the true pride that Paul brings to our town, fire department, and emergency medical services," Mayor Cohen said. "And I share in that pride because if I was sick I would have no reservations about having any of our fire fighters take care of me."
Fenn shared Cohen's enthusiasm for the quality of Agawam's emergency service teams by stating, "I've worked in many communities and this town has always stayed ahead of the curb amongst EMS and fire professionals in western Massachusetts." He continued to say, "Agawam continues to set the bar high and achieves the best."
According to Fenn, he wanted to work in Agawam as a tribute to his father who was raised in the town. Fenn wanted to work in a place where the community comes first in the eyes of those that serve them.
"I work with the best people who treat me like family," said Fenn. "I'm proud to be part of such a fine community."
In addition to his duties as a paramedic, Fenn is also a part of the Explorer Program, which helps to train 14 to 21 year-olds, who are interested in becoming paramedics and emergency service employees. The program allows the youth to see the daily operations of the emergency services as they are taken out in the vehicles on patrols and shown the facilities, according to Cohen.
Among those in attendance to honor Fenn was his uncle Robert Fenn, of Longmeadow, a retired District Fire Chief of the Springfield Fire Department.
"It's very heartwarming to see someone follow in our footsteps," Robert Fenn said. "He's always been very interested in emergency service work and as far as I'm concerned I'm very proud of him."
Also in attendance were Fenn's paramedic partner James M. Kalbaugh, and Stephen Martin, Deputy Chief of the Agawam Fire Department.
"I'm proud of him," said Kalbaugh. "This citation shows the professionalism and proud heritage that that Paul displays on behalf of our fire service."
Fenn continued on with his humble nature by praising his partner Kalbaugh, "I couldn't do anything without Jim, he takes care of me in the ambulance everyday."
To all those in attendance Fenn displayed nothing but dignity, pride, and modesty throughout the ceremony.
"Paul is truly Paramedic of the Year and a fine gentleman, not only in emergency medical services but outside of the job," Martin said. "It is a heartfelt pleasure to work with him."