Montgomery County first responders are honored at Give Thanks First event

Montgomery County held its annual First Responders Appreciation dinner titled “Give Thanks First,” Thursday. Shown are the recipients of the awards that were given out. From the left is Jasen Mare, who accepted the Outstanding Service Award on the behalf of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Rust; New York State police Captain Daniel Larken, State Trooper Rachel Stockhom, who was the recipient of the First Responder of the Year award; Amsterdam Police Officer Michael Palmerino, who was the recipient of the First Responder of the Year award; Amsterdam Police Chief Greg Culick and Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

FONDA — Montgomery County dedicated a night to honoring and recognizing first responders who have dedicated their lives to serving county residents.

At the annual First Responders Appreciation dinner “Give Thanks First” event, held on Thursday, three law enforcement officials were awarded for their outstanding service to the community while on or off duty.

“The main point for us to meet here tonight is to recognize some folks who go above and beyond,” said Montgomery County Executive Matthew Ossenfort.

Receiving the Outstanding Service Award was Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Corey Rust, who was nominated for his quick-thinking actions when rescuing an injured boy during an off duty incident in July, along with his handling a threat at the Amsterdam High School.

During the off duty incident, Rust was driving when he saw a boy bleeding from his hand and leg. The boy had been nearly hit by a teen driving a 4-wheeler. Rust applied gauze to stop the bleeding. He also advised the boy’s family to drive him to the hospital since the ambulance was 30 minutes out.

“This type of off duty behavior is something to be proud of and is certainly something that represents being a deputy sheriff,” Ossenfort said.

Receiving the First Responder of the Year was Rachel Stockholm with the state police.

Presenting her with the award was state police Captain Daniel Larkin.

“Our first responders here have difficult, and sometimes dangerous jobs and they provide the safety and security to residents of this county each and every day,” Larkin said. “I’m especially pleased to be here tonight to celebrate Trooper Rachel Stockholm as a distinguished Montgomery County first responder.”

Stockholm was nominated for devoting herself to the service of the community “and demonstrates this with her tireless efforts assisting the public through her investigations and enforcement of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and Penal Law.”

Larkin said Stockholm has the highest call volume at the station and is one of the first to respond to assist other agencies in the county.

“She wholeheartedly cares about what she does and takes great satisfaction in helping people,” Larkin said.

Also receiving the First Responder of the Year Award was Amsterdam Police Officer Michael Palmerino.

There to present him with his award was Chief Gregory Culick.

“Officer Palmerino’s job performance is untiring and his reputation and work ethic are outstanding,” Culick said. “He distinguishes himself by consistently taking the extra steps to try and to solve difficult cases, resolve complaints and bring closure to crime victims.”

Culick commended Palmerino for his actions when pulling a woman off train tracks while an Amtrak train was approximately 100 yards and approaching.

“Officer Palmerino should be recognized for his quick thinking and heroic actions in this extremely dangerous situation,” Culick said.

By Kerry Minor

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