Daniel Syme, a six-year veteran of the West Hartford Fire Department, was honored Oct. 1 by the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96.
By Ronni Newton
About 35 fellow firefighters, as well as family, friends, and town officials joined members of the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 at Flora Restaurant on Oct. 1 to honor Daniel Syme, who was recognized by Post 96 as West Hartford’s 2018 Firefighter of the Year.
“I’m honored, and quite frankly I would not be here if not for everyone in this room,” Syme, an apparatus operator at Station 1 on Prospect Avenue, told We-Ha.com. After he received his official recognition, Syme thanked his colleagues and family for their support.
Syme had 11 years of experience before he came to West Hartford from Maryland in July 2012. While in Maryland, he worked with the Howard Country Fire and Rescue Service and Prince William County Fire and Rescue.
Assistant Chief Michael Sinsigalli said of Syme that he is a “quiet and unassuming firefighter who goes about the work of his profession without a lot of fanfare – yet when asked his peers use words like dependable, trustworthy, knowledgeable, dedicated, and professional to describe him.” He has been praised in performance reviews for his calm presence and ability to resolve conflicts, Sinsigalli said.
Battalion Chief William Kall noted that Syme, who was selected for the honor by his peers, is being recognized for his “professionalism, commitment, knowledge, and willingness to go above and beyond the normal duties assigned to an apparatus operator.” He praised Syme’s “unwavering, positive attitude toward both firefighters and members of our community.”
Syme has also been a great mentor for others aspiring to become apparatus operators, selflessly assisting them with their studies while sacrificing his own personal time, Kall said.
Mayor Shari Cantor read a proclamation honoring Syme, before Post 96 Commander Jeff Cole presented him with his official Firefighter of the Year plaque.
Town Manager Matt Hart also spoke to the crowd, offering his congratulations.
For more information about American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 of West Hartford, which has been serving veterans and the community for 96 years, is available on the Post’s website at www.post96.org or or call 860-233-9029.
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