WESTONS MILLS - The first assistant chief of Kinney Hose Company has received Western New York’s annual Heroism Award for individual valor, for his actions that saved the life of a woman ready to jump from the second floor of a burning home.
“Back in August 2019, we had a fire on West Windfall Road at, I think it was around 4:30 in the morning,” said Joe DuShaw, president of the Kinney Hose Company. “The lady was in the second floor window throwing clothes out (to pad the ground).”
Everetts arrived on the scene and quickly went up a ladder to help the woman out of the window and down to safety.
Wednesday evening at the fire hall, First Assistant Chief Tony Everetts was presented with the Heroism Award by David Evans, chairman of the Fireman of the Year Committee of the Western New York Volunteer Firemens Association (WNYVFA). Andrew Pilecki, past president, was also on hand. The association received 31 nominations from seven of its 11 member counties.
“She was close to jumping,” Everetts said of the incident, adding that “it wasn’t just me. (Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s) Deputy Tyler Taylor was there, too.”
Everetts noted “the fog was so bad” that early morning. “I just threw my gear off and started up” a nearby ladder.
Evans said Everetts performed “an extraordinary, heroic effort in this rescue.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Evans said, “With weather conditions obscuring the scene, working with the only other first responder on the scene, Deputy Sheriff Tyler Taylor, and using limited but welcome resources found there, he successfully carried out this special duty.”
Typically, WNYVFA’s annual awards are given out at the yearly convention, but due to COVID-19, the 2020 convention and printing of the program book honoring the individual firefighters were canceled. So, this year, Pilecki and Evans are traveling to each honoree’s fire district to present the awards in person.
About 30 firefighters and family members were on hand to not only see Everetts receive the Heroism Award, but to honor his brother, Allen Everetts, with the Certificate of Excellence for 10 years of meritorious service.
Not present to receive his Certificate of Excellence was Terry Everetts, Tony and Allen’s uncle, for his 50 years of meritorious service.