Sgt. Corey Laber was named the Brighton Area Fire Dept. Firefighter of the Year for 2017 at ceremonies held this weekend at the Brighton Performing Arts Center. Fire Chief Mike O’Brian says that Laber has served with distinction in the mere four years he has been with the department, particularly on emergency runs.

Other awards included Firefighter of the Year at each of the five fire stations, including APO Brian Grainza of station 31, Doug Lytwynec of station 32, Sgt. Dave Mourer of station 33, APO Mark Cirella of station 34 and Jonathon Kupec of station 35. Also, Office Manager Claudette Monroe won the Distinguished Service award for her work and dedication in her 10 years of service. Finally, Brighton Area Fire Marshall Richard Boisvert was recognized for being named the state Fire Marshall of the Year in Michigan for 2017.

In other awards, Corrigan Towing and the fire dept. crew that responded to a dangerous crane collapse last fall on the shores of Lake Chemung won the Medical Service award. Finally, Jill Donovan, a trainer at Crossfit in Brighton, won the Civilian Award for her quick work in giving CPR to an individual who had gone into full cardiac arrest. O'Brian said Donovan's quick work in reviving him before a crew arrived to administer atrial defibrillation saved the life of the victim.

Chief O'Brian said after the ceremonies that the department held two fire academies last year and graduated 40 men and women as new, certified firefighters to serve at various fire departments. He said the Brighton department itself recruited 17 firefighters this past year, and now has a complement of about 80 firefighters overall. (TT)