Profiles of the four shot at Webster (NY):
Lt. Mike Chiapprerini, 43, a volunteer firefighter and Webster Police Department’s public information officer, was killed responding to the fire. The Demorcrat and Chronicle reports that was known around Webster for his dedication to the town that he lived in (http://on.rocne.ws/RPdJcb).
His contributions didn’t end when his shift did. In his free time, he volunteered with the West Webster Fire Department, including as the adviser for its Explorer program for young people interested in becoming firefighters. He recently took vacation time from his job at the police department to travel with a group of emergency responders to assist victims of Hurricane Sandy.
“He took public service to the nth degree,” said an emotional Webster Police Chief Gerald Pickering during a press conference. “He was all about giving back to the community. When he wasn’t working as a police officer he was always the first on on the truck.”
Pickering described Chiapperini as a great family man and well-respected public service.
Chiapperini had a decades long career with the Webster Police Department, including time as an investigator working on a number of high-profile cases. In 2001, he was recognized for his role in the arrests of three armed robbery suspects at a convenience store on Christmas Day, 1999. Most recently he served as one of the department’s public information officer, regularly becoming the public face of the department.
He also built a respectable resume through his volunteer work with the fire department. Fire department officials said that he held every office, including a stint as chief. In 2006, he ran for the post of fire commissioner, but was defeated. Just two weeks ago he was honored as firefighter of the year.
The Democrat and Chronicle details that Tomasz Kaczowka, 19, was killed responding to the fire. The newspaper reports that Kaczowka was standing in for older members of the West Webster Fire Department.
It is tradition at the department, which is run by about 125 volunteer firefighters, for unattached firefighters to sleep at the firehouse during the Christmas season so their colleagues who are married with children can be at home for the holiday (http://on.rocne.ws/YGDEVo).
“He didn’t have to be there,” said Al Sienkiewicz, a former chief and now spokesman for the fire department. “He was bunking in voluntarily so others could stay at home.”
Kaczowka graduated from Webster Thomas High School in 2011 and was awarded a scholarship from the Polish Heritage Society of Rochester. Organization officials declined to be interviewed.
He took the Monroe County Civil Service exam shortly after turning 18 in May 2011 and was hired that November as a fire dispatcher at the 911 emergency dispatch center on West Main Street, according to Monroe County.
Of the 200 or so employees in the building, Kaczowka was the youngest, said the center’s director, John Merklinger.
He recalled how Kaczowka was regarded as “everyone’s little brother” at the center and would often arrive at work with desserts prepared by his mother.
Joseph Hofstetter was shot once in the pelvis and taken to Strong Memorial Hospital. Hofstetter is a firefighter with the Rochester Fire Department and he has been upgraded to stable condition, reports WHEC.com (http://bit.ly/V21N3t).
Theodore Scardino was shot and injured. He is in guarded condition in the intensive care unit at Strong Memorial Hospital reports the Daily Mail (http://bit.ly/V1v2U4)