Nominees honored, scholarship established for Canajoharie Fire Department’s James Homkey
FONDA — County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort hosted the 3rd annual First Responders Appreciation Dinner on Thursday evening at the Winner’s Circle, in Fonda. The event, which Ossenfort started in 2014, began as a way to say thank you to the county’s first responders. This event is a small way to say thank you to those who serve their community and risk danger to keep our community safe.
This year’s event honored six nominees from throughout Montgomery County, who were nominated by their respective Chief or Director, as individuals who consistently go above and beyond, putting service above self.
One of this year’s nominees is James “Jamie” Homkey, a firefighter with the Canajoharie Volunteer Fire Department. Homkey was tragically killed on Oct. 10, as he was working as a tow truck operator, responding to a call on the New York State Thruway. On Thursday evening, his family accepted the award on his behalf. Ossenfort announced that a portion of the funding raised by this year’s event will go to establishing a scholarship in Homkey’s name.
“To be able to start a scholarship in Mr. Homkey’s name is something I’m incredibly happy we are able to do,” Ossenfort said. “While he was not in his role as a first responder on that fateful day, Jamie embodies every quality that makes for a great first responder. He exhibited great loyalty, dependability and a willingness to help his community.”
This tragedy has placed an emphasis on the critically important “Move Over” law. This law took effect in 2011, has been expanded twice, and now requires drivers to use care, slow down and safely move over when approaching law enforcement vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances, construction and maintenance vehicles stopped along the roadway. Last month, the state announced a week-long campaign aimed at raising awareness of this law and cracking down on offenders.
Here are the nominees who were honored:
This year’s event was successful due, in part, to a great group of sponsors, which included AECOM, Pittsfield Communications, Alpin Haus, Lightspeed Technologies, Inc., Seely Conover, C.T. Male Associates, M.W. Roosevelt & Son, Inc., NBT Bank and Advanced Technologies.
“I’m happy this event has continued to grow over the past three years and that those in our first responder community have embraced the event with open arms,” Ossenfort said. “I believe we should thank these men and women often, as the job they perform protects us and often puts them at risk. Especially at this time of year, we owe it to our first responders to say thank you and recognize their efforts.”