West Hartford ‘Firefighter of the Year’ Honored by American Legion

From left: Firefighter Brenden Coen, Chief Gary Allyn, Battalion Chief William Kall. Submitted photo

West Hartford Firefighter Brenden Coen was honored this week with the award for his heroic actions last December.

From left: Firefighter Brenden Coen, Chief Gary Allyn, Battalion Chief William Kall. Submitted photo

From left: Firefighter Brenden Coen, Chief Gary Allyn, Battalion Chief William Kall. Submitted photo


Firefighter Brenden Coen of the West Hartford Fire Department has been honored as Firefighter of the Year by American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96. Hayes-Velhage Post 96 Commander Moe Fradette acknowledged the dedication and professionalism of the entire West Hartford Fire Department and thanked them for all they do for the community.

Joined by over 35 of his fellow firefighters, Coen received the award for his actions on Dec. 25, 2015, while traveling on Route 6 in Bolton.

In his remarks Fire Chief Gary Allyn stated Coen has been a firefighter with the Town Of West Hartford since 2008 and has exemplified himself through his actions on and off the his job. The Chief also mentioned Coen’s service in the Marine Corps serving two tours in Iraq.

Battalion Chief William Kall described the situation of Dec. 25, 2015, and the response provided by Firefighter Coen: “It was Dec. 25, 2015, and Firefighter Coen had just worked the day shift at WHFD and was en route to his part time job as a dispatcher. He came upon a two car motor vehicle accident on Route 6 in Bolton. One vehicle was on its roof, the passenger was deceased and the other was upright and on fire with two unconscious/semi-conscious passengers. Emergency Services were not yet on scene. Both occupants were trapped inside of the vehicle which was on fire. Firefighter Coen did not have any firefighting gear but broke the vehicle window and extricated the first victim, the passenger, and went back for the driver. The driver’s leg/foot was entangled in the pedals and center console requiring Firefighter Coen to partially enter the vehicle to extricate the driver as the fire was starting to enter the passenger compartment. Upon arrival of the fire department, both passengers had been removed from the vehicle and the vehicle was well involved in flames. Both passengers were taken to the receiving hospital for treatment and later discharged.”

With a current membership of 2.4-million wartime veterans, the American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

The American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 of West Hartford is a 100 percent smoke free facility and is open to military veterans who have served honorably during a wartime era and military personnel currently on active duty. Further information is available on the Post’s website at www.post96.org or the public is welcome to visit Hayes-Velhage Post 96 at 45 Raymond Rd., West Hartford, CT. 06107, phone 860-233-9029.

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