WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — Two Williamsville firefighters received the Liberty Medal Wednesday night. The medal is the highest individual honor given out by the New York State Senate. State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer (R-Amherst) awarded them the medal in front of their families and colleagues at the Williamsville fire department.
"The New York State liberty award is presented for exceptional valor and dedication on behalf of the people of the State of New York," Ranzenhofer said.
James Christopher and Greg Smith received the award; they were among those responding to a fire on Evans Street in May.
"It's nice to know that the training we do day in and day out is really making a difference," said Smith.
Smith said the two wedged their way through a partially blocked door, recovering an unconscious man from the burning home. An effort that saved the 87 year old's life. Williamsville Fire Chief Richard Maddigan said this was the first time anyone from the department had received the Liberty Medal.
"It's quite the honor, I can't say it enough," Maddigan said.
The medal served as a reminder of the department's greatest honor, saving lives.