EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Atlantic County Firefighters Association recognized four of its own during the 26th annual Valor and Service Awards last week.
This year, the Valor Awards were named in honor of longtime Atlantic County firefighter Harold "Whitey" Swartz, who died March 2.
Swartz helped establish the award, which has been given to 231 recipients including police, fire, medical personnel and civilians.
"When you get a call and you get in the truck, you don't think about yourself, you think about what you're going to do," Atlantic County Firefighters Association Chairman Howard Berchtold told a crowd of firefighters and families Wednesday.
Capt. Mark Martin and Firefighter Ryan Alexander from the Cologne Fire Company received awards for entering a smoke-filled second-floor apartment and rescuing the unconscious resident from the Harding Run II complex on May 11.
Firefighter John Sarno from the Linwood Fire Company received a Valor Award for performing the Heimlich maneuver on an 11-month-old child in a July 2 choking incident.
William Swain Sr. received the 50-Year Membership Award for his service with Linwood.
"I'm very appreciative," he said. Doris, his wife of 57 years, kissed Swain after he received his award and said, "He's a good man."
"It's about service," Berchtold said. "It's about being prepared and knowing the training."