The Hudson County 200 Club held their annual Valor Awards where many people were honored for their heroic acts throughout the year. This year there were three Valor Awards chosen including, Jersey City Police officer Saidia Simmons, Jersey City EMS Field Training officer Robert McMahon, and Jersey City firefighters Captain Victor Petrucelli, Patrick Murphy, and Dwayne Taylor.
Simmons was honored after an incident where a 20-year-old man with a history of mental illness attempted to grab her gun. She was able to slap his hand away and get him to the ground. He yelled, “Shoot me, shoot me,” and continued to try and grab for her gun. Simmons was able to handle the situation until backup arrived, and the man was taken for treatment.
McMahon was transporting a patient to the hospital when a man swerved his car into the ambulance. He saw the driver of the vehicle get out of the car and spotted that he had a gun. McMahon was able to apprehend the gun and get the patient safely to the hospital.
Captain Victor Petrucelli, and firefighters Patrick Murphy and Dwayne Taylor, of the Jersey City Fire Department, received the award for saving lives from a serious fire this past September. They ran into the third floor of a burning building, where a man was refusing to leave until he was able to find his family. Fallon persuaded him to exit the building, while Murphy and Taylor found a women and child and brought them to safety.
A Valiant Teamwork award was given to North Hudson Regional Fire and Rescue captains Glen Gavin, Sean Miick, Moises Valdes, and firefighters Vito Gigante and Matthew Huelbig. They went into a 3- alarm fire in order to find an 80-year-old man, and were able to prevent the fire from spreading.
Special awards were also given to the Traffic Safety and Crash Investigation Unit of the Hudson County Sheriffs Department and the Hudson County Prosecutors office.
The Hudson County Sheriffs Department has been successful reconstructing crash scenes, tracking down and assisting in prosecutions of hit-and runs, and helping families deal with tragedies.
Sergeant Maria Dargan and Detectives Tony Espaillat, Mario Novo, Sean O’Leary, Carolyn Tholen, and Josue Velez of the Hudson County prosecutor’s office were arresting a uncooperative man suspected of aggravated sexual assault on minors. While waiting for transport, a woman approached them in a panic because her 2-year-old child was in her vehicle unresponsive and turning blue due to an obstruction in his throat. They were able to handle both situations simultaneously and successfully.
In addition to the awards, scholarships were given out to many young successful students from the 200 Club themselves, Jersey City Police, Jersey City Fire foundation, and Hudson County police chiefs.