Oct 27, 2022 Elite Group of New Jersey Firefighters Honored at the 35th Annual Valor Awards

The Burn Center at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center (CBMC) presented 10 New Jersey firefighters with the prestigious Valor Award for their courage and bravery at the 35th Annual Valor Awards on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 in Cedar Grove, NJ. During the event, more than 100 additional firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians were honored for their work in the community.

The Valor Awards salute an elite group of firefighters and first responders for their bravery, courage and dedication to the citizens of New Jersey. Honorees are nominated by respective departments and selected by a committee of peers. This year’s honorees include:

  • Newark Fire Department - Acting Captain Dayon K. Cobbs and Captain Jose (Joey) Cantara who endured heavy smoke and high heat conditions while rescuing an unconscious elderly man and performing CPR until EMS arrived. Captain Cobbs spent several weeks in The Burn Center and is currently being cared for on an outpatient basis.
  • Elizabeth Fire Department - Acting Captain Kyle E. Haszko and Firefighter Jimmillion Chen who helped save trapped residents from rapidly rising flood waters during Hurricane Ida.
  • Elizabeth Fire Department - Firefighter Christopher Whyte who while off duty smelled smoke in a neighbor’s home and rescued four people without protective gear and only a ground ladder.
  • Medford Fire and EMS - Acting Officer Ryan L. Hoffman, Captain Clifford C. Rickards, Jr. and Fire Marshal Brian Widman who with their team, rescued a victim from a residential fire with limited personnel.
  • Newark Fire Department - Acting Firefighter Wilky J. Rodriquez who rescued a semi-unconscious man in an abandoned car within a fiery and smokey auto repair shop after it was presumed both the building and car were unoccupied.
  • Paterson Fire Department - Acting Battalion Chief Kenneth Kiefer who freed an unconscious man from a burning motor vehicle after a crash with a gasoline pump despite the risk of a possible explosion.

Money raised during the award ceremony benefits The Burn Center at CBMC. As the state’s only state-certified burn treatment facility in New Jersey, The Burn Center at SBMC is equipped to treat pediatric through geriatric burn patients with a full range of specialized services, including a dedicated outpatient department where individuals with small or minor burns receive treatment and discharged patients return for follow-up care. In addition, The Center’s educational programs teach burn awareness, prevention and fire safety to thousands of people of all backgrounds throughout the state of New Jersey.

To learn more, or make a donation, please visit www.njburncenter.com.