The West Hempstead Volunteer Fire Department celebrated the achievements and dedicated service of its members earlier this month at its 88th annual installation dinner.
The West Hempstead Westerners, who were crowned the New York State Motorized Drill Champions in late 2012, were honored by local political leaders for their successful season. Nassau County Legis. Vincent J. Muscarella and Town of Hempstead Supervisor Kate Murray presented each team member with a citation. The Westerners also proudly showed off their NYS Championship rings and the championship cup.
Muscarella also separately recognized William D’Alessandro, a member of the drill team, for his 35 years of service to the department.
West Hempstead photographer Steve Orlando also found himself on the other side of the cameras at one point during the reception as the West Hempstead Fire District presented him with a plaque, honoring him for his friendship and service to the West Hempstead Fire Department and the entire community of West Hempstead.
Two other team members -- West Hempstead firefighters Andrew Brohm and Gerard Boettcher -- have also been credited with rescuing an unconscious woman from the fatal five-alarm fire that occurred in Hempstead earlier this month. Although the victim later succumbed to her injuries after spending some time in intensive care, the efforts by these two firefighters were heroic.
Click through the gallery above to see more photos from the installation dinner.