Berlin Firefighter Recognized in Return from Montana

Richard Scalora, of Berlin, is among the 20 returning home after spending several weeks assisting in efforts to combat wildfires in Lolo National Forest.

Credit: Getty Images.
Credit: Getty Images.
For the past two weeks, Richard Scalora has spent countless hours fighting back against spreading wildfires in Montana.

The challenging and grueling task, done in partnership with Montana fire services as a helping hand from the Connecticut Fire Crew, helped hold back and eventually extinguish the flames that spent weeks threatening Montana’s Lolo National Forest and the western part of the state.

Now Scalora, of Berlin, has returned home.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection announced Wednesday that 20 state firefighters have returned home following the mutual aid trip that began on Aug. 13.

“The 20-person fire crew (14 DEEP employees and 6 local firefighters) left Connecticut August 13 and were sent to Lolo National Forest, Montana to assist fighting wild fires in the western part of that state,” according to Cyndy Chanaca, DEEP spokeswoman.

DEEP maintains a roster of agency staff members and personnel from local fire departments who have been certified to fight forest or wildfires, she said. Members must complete a rigorous training program and participate in an annual renewal course.

Connecticut maintains this firefighting capability to participate in a reciprocal aid program operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Under this program, trained personnel from other parts of the nation are available to assist Connecticut in the event of a fire emergency – in return for personnel from this state being available to assist elsewhere.

CT DEEP Members of Connecticut Fire Crew:

Jason Bjornberg, Lyme
Timothy M. Baird, East Granby
Mark Blazejak, Voluntown
Eric Gileau, Preston
Christopher Kostopoulos, West Haven
Jeffrey Krukar, Torrington
Thomas Nosal, Middletown
Stacy Pappano, Windsor
Thomas RisCassi, Hartford
Richard Scalora, Berlin
Michael Shaw, Torrington
David Stygar, Lebanon
James Villwock, Durham
Justin Wiggins, Newington

Other members:

Ben Arnold, Dayville
Anthony Flamio, Farmington
Jacob Light, Enfield
Sergio Liguori, New Milford
Juan Sanchez III, Chaplin
Allan Waterman, Moosup

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