Michael J. Chiapperini was born April 1‚ 1969‚ and grew up in Webster‚ New York‚ with his loving parents‚ Marcia and John‚ and sister‚ Michelle. He dedicated his life to serving the Webster community‚ both as a volunteer firefighter for the West Webster Fire Department and as a police lieutenant with the Webster Police Department.
Mike had volunteered with the West Webster Fire Department for over 25 years and rose through the ranks of lieutenant‚ captain‚ second assistant chief‚ first assistant chief‚ and chief. At the time of his passing he was serving as the advisor for the Explorer Post‚ something he had done for many years and greatly enjoyed. It was through the Explorer program that Mike befriended and became a mentor to Tomasz Kaczowka‚ who also passed away on Christmas Eve during the same tragic incident. Mike was always quick to volunteer to go on emergency deployments to areas affected by weather-related devastation. Prior to his passing he had spent a week helping out at the Mastic Beach Fire Department after Hurricane Sandy. He said it had meant a lot to him to be able to go on that deployment with his son‚ Nick‚ who is also in the West Webster Fire Department.
Professionally‚ Mike served in the Webster Police Department for over 19 years. Within the department he also rose through the ranks of patrol officer‚ investigator‚ sergeant‚ and lieutenant. Mike served on many committees and was trained in many areas of emergency response. He was particularly interested in crash reconstruction‚ arson investigation‚ grant writing‚ and safety procedures. Mike loved to be involved in the community and helped instruct the citizen’s police academy‚ gave many talks at the schools‚ and volunteered at the Webster Fireman’s Carnival.
Mike leaves behind his wife‚ Kimberly‚ and three children‚ Nicholas (20)‚ Kacie (5)‚ and Kylie (3). He is also survived by his mother‚ Marcia; sister‚ Michelle (Dane) Ehrich; mother and father-in-law‚ Pete and Shari Munding; brothers-in-law‚ Michael and Ryan Munding; sister-in-law‚ Julie (Jeffrey) Dawson; and numerous cousins‚ nieces‚ nephews‚ and many friends.
Mike had a passion for life and keeping busy. In his free time he enjoyed boating‚ snowmobiling‚ hunting‚ road trips‚ vacations and lots of family time. Every weekend he planned something fun to do with his family. Mike was also a dog lover and cherished his two boxers‚ Jax and Carlie.
Courageous‚ determined‚ outgoing‚ humorous‚ and generous are qualities that describe Mike. He adored his family‚ would always help a friend in need‚ and was a true public servant. He is and will always be greatly loved and missed.
‘I have no ambition in this world but one‚ and that is to be a fireman. The position may‚ in the eyes of some‚ appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives.’ During his short 19 years‚ Tomasz Kaczowka modeled his life after Edward Croker’s quote.
Born on May 16‚ 1993‚ Tomasz Marian Kaczowka was a first generation Polish-American and the youngest of three brothers. He loved his friends and family‚ visiting Poland‚ and helping others. Those who knew him remember him as an energetic‚ fun-loving individual with a sense of humor and a contagious smile. He enjoyed making people laugh and playing jokes on his unsuspecting brothers‚ Dariusz and Greg. His parents‚ Janina and Marian‚ taught him to work hard and reap the benefits of a career he was passionate about‚ although few people would have guessed that he would become a firefighter.
Tomasz developed an interest in civil service at a young age‚ drawn to any profession requiring a uniform and helping others. He joined the West Webster Explorers Post at age 14‚ eagerly attending trainings in order to develop himself as a firefighter and help the other explorers he trained with. During high school‚ Tomasz enrolled in certified first responder and EMT courses at the Eastern Monroe Career Center in Rochester‚ eventually earning CFR and EMT certifications. He graduated the Explorers Program in August 2011 at age 18‚ becoming the youngest volunteer firefighter in the department.
After becoming a firefighter‚ Tomasz’s interest in civil service expanded outside of the fire department. He continued his studies with a concentration in fire safety at Monroe Community College‚ while simultaneously working full time as a fire dispatcher for the Rochester Emergency Communications Department on the overnight shift. Even with this rigorous schedule‚ Tomasz still dedicated time to attend incidents‚ and was placed on the dean’s list for the fall of 2012. In preparation for life after college‚ he planned to take professional firefighter exams in Prince George’s County‚ Maryland‚ and Charlotte‚ North Carolina.
Tomasz Kaczowka was killed in the line of duty along with his friend and mentor‚ Michael Chiapperini‚ during an ambush at the scene of a fire on December 24‚ 2012. He had selflessly offered to stay at the firehouse overnight so that other firefighters could spend time with their families on Christmas Eve. His heroic actions will not be forgotten.
Tomasz’s dedication and drive to succeed in civil service serve as proof that age is not always an accurate measure of a person’s character and ability. Hopefully Tomasz’s actions will serve as a guide for other young firefighters.
Age: 62Vice President of Monroe County Fire Association Vice President of West Webster Fire Department Lieutenant of West Webster Fire Department Fire Police Special Police for Webster Police Department Awards: 2005 Fireman of the Year
William Bostian devoted his life to his family‚ the West Webster Fire Department and to his community. As a teen‚ Bill worked on the Welsher Fruit Farm where he met Linda Welsher. Bill and Linda were married September 7‚ 1963‚ and they were together until Linda’s passing in 1992. Bill and Linda settled in West Webster‚ where they raised their four children – Pam‚ Gary‚ Tom & Kevin. To his children he was ‘Dad‚’ and his children remember fondly how they could always count on him. No favor was too big. His children recall that he was always there when we needed him‚ right up until the end. He was more than ‘Dad’‚ he was our friend. When the four of us were growing up‚ he was always there for the other kids in the neighborhood as well. They all referred to him as Mr. B. He was always involved either as a scout leader‚ baseball coach‚ or a medic for Pop Warner Football.
He had a big heart‚ and a very generous nature‚ always putting others before himself. If anyone ever needed a place to stay‚ he would always make room for them and make them feel like a part of the family. He had a great sense of humor‚ and could always take a joke about himself by laughing right along with the joke.
He was a devoted son‚ committing to bringing his mother up from Florida after a mild stroke and taking care of her. He breakfasted every morning with his close circle of friends‚ but if a new guy wanted to go he welcomed them with open arms.
Bill was also extremely passionate about helping others in his community. He joined West Webster Fire Department in 1977‚ and quickly rose through the ranks to Captain. He was also an EMT and would jump on the ambulance whenever he could. After going social for a few years one would still see him up at the firehouse helping out and doing whatever he could. When he went active again in the late 90’s‚ he joined the Fire Police‚ rising to the rank of lieutenant. His fellow firemen remember how they could count on Bill‚ how he always had their back. He would have his truck across the road with every rotating and blinking light imaginable on‚ protecting ‘US.’ Bill also became Vice President of the Association‚ and was looking forward to becoming President in January. He was proud of his position and the good that he was doing. He was also proud of the Organization and its people.
He was also Vice President for the Monroe County Volunteer Fireman’s Association. His fellow firemen would always joke with him about his green jacket and asked if he won the Masters Tournament. They remember the joke never got old‚ and he laughed right along with them. He had a great sense of humor‚ they recall. A long time friend and fellow fireman remembers how Bill was an old time firefighter. He gave his all to everything he did. As a member of the special police‚ he was all over town protecting the residents when not on call for the fire department – he liked helping people.
He was very humble‚ never bragged. It was only in his passing that my brothers and I learned of ALL he did‚ says his daughter.
David J. Clapp‚ age 24 died October 4‚ 1986 from injuries he sustained following a motor vehicle accident. David was responding to a call at the time of the accident. It was a stormy day with heavy rainfall which caused numerous fire calls. Leaving work from National Ambulance‚ David was driving to the fire house to help with the calls. While traveling down the dug-way hill‚ David hit a patch of standing water and hydroplaned into the path of another car. He was trapped for approximately 25 minutes. His brothers and sisters of West Webster had the difficult job of extricating him from the vehicle and performed CPR while enroute to the hospital. David’s sister‚ Barb‚ a member of the department also responded to the accident. David had been in a coma for a week when the doctors made the determination that he was brain dead and life support was stopped. Even in death‚ David continued to help people through his organs donations. His heart saved a 46 year old father of two young children. Two people benefited from kidney transplants and his eye tissue restored vision and benefited research science.
David was born May 2‚ 1962 in Webster‚ NY. He graduated from R.L. Thomas High School in 1980 and went on to SUNY Canton for Hotel Management. It was a two-year program‚ but David had so much fun he went for three years. While at Canton‚ he found his true passion‚ being an EMT. He received his EMT certification while at Canton and ran calls for the school. David joined West Webster Fire Department in January of 1984. He originally joined to run ambulance calls but soon found out he also enjoyed the fire side. David also volunteered with Irondequoit Volunteer Ambulance.
David loved to help people. He would often check in on his patients at the hospital when he was there for other calls or even at their home later. David was involved in an ice water rescue on Irondequoit Bay which saved some snow mobile operators. David enjoyed spending much of his free time at the Fire House.
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