The Fifth Annual Quincy Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year Award presentation took place today with October being National Fire Awareness Month.  This year’s winner was Assistant Fire Chief James Pioch of the Quincy Fire Department, an 18 year veteran of the Department. Assistant Chief Pioch was in charge of the firefighting operation during the Newcomb Hotel fire.  That was a five-alarm blaze that occurred on Friday, September 6th.

According to Chief Joe Henning, Assistant Chief Pioch “goes above and beyond in all that he does and he is the go-to guy when I need statistics”. Chief Henning went on to say he is my “Techno Geek” and a fully accomplished firefighter. Assistant Chief Pioch assists firefighters in helping them access technology to help make their jobs easier and most of all safer.

Exchange Club President Chuck Venvertloh presented Assistant Chief Pioch a special plaque featuring a picture of the fully engulfed Newcomb Hotel.  A plaque will also be presented to all five fire companies who responded to the five alarm blaze as well.  Chief Henning accepted the plaque at the meeting for Engine Company 2.

Also in attendance were Tri-Township Fire Department’s Chief Rick Zaerr and Assistant Chief Darren Smith. Other previous winners in attendance were Captain Tom Bentley, Lieutenant Eric Becks, Firefighter Justin Twaddle and Lieutenant Dennis Behl of the Quincy Fire Department.