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Firefighters get thanks from 18-year-old girl they saved

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 August 2013 at 12:00 am

13 members of AFD receive ‘Green Cross’ awards

Photos by Tom Rivers – Jillian Troy, 18, stands by the Jaws of Life and Albion firefighters Jeremy Graham and Al Cheverie, right. Chuck Prentice is in back.

Jillian Troy has made a remarkable recovery from life-threatening injuries sustained in a June 21 car crash. Her family credits the quick and effective work by firefighters for saving her life and helping to minimize the lasting impact of her injuries. She is pictured with Albion firefighters, from left: Will Francis, Matt Francis, Dale Banker, Andrew Cheverie, Mike Dalle, Jeremy Graham, Chuck Prentice, Al Cheverie and Steven Papponetti. Four other firefighters responded to the rescue call on June 21: Rob Connor, James Herdendorf, Charlie Monacelli and Rocky Sidari.

ALBION – Jillian Troy doesn’t remember the accident. She woke up five days after June 21, when she nearly died in an early morning crash on Eagle Harbor-Waterport Road.

Jillian, 18, had extensive injuries, including swelling on the brain, a lacerated liver, a collapsed and punctured lung, a broken left ankle and wrist, and several knocked out teeth. She only had a faint breath.

Her family credits a quick and perfectly executed extrication by Albion firefighters with saving her life and helping to prevent more serious lasting injuries.

“I’m very grateful to the firefighters,” Jillian said this evening. “They did a really good job.”

Jillian and her family met the Albion firefighters tonight who helped save her. Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheehan also presented 13 firefighters with “Green Cross” awards from the Hurst Jaws of Life company for using the tool in a life-saving emergency.

“I’m very grateful that I made out so well,” Jillian said this evening. “I had a lot of injuries.”

Her family was told she would be recovering in a hospital for months. She was able to leave after 18 days. Her body has bounced back remarkably, said her mother Lauren Rayner.

“She was in very bad shape,” Rayner said.

Rayner’s mother Cindy Troy handed each firefighter a flower in appreciation for their work on that early morning.

Firefighters heard their ring tones go off soon after 5 a.m. Mike Dalle thought it was his alarm clock. He reached for the snooze button, but realized it was a fire call. He lives on Route 104 and was on scene within minutes. So were several other firefighters.

They saw a heavily damaged 1993 Suburu four-door sedan on Eagle Harbor-Waterport Road. Jillian had fallen asleep and drove into a concrete bridge structure that carries the roadway over Otter Creek.

Albion firefighters Steven Papponetti, right, and Jeremy Graham show the Jaws of Life to Jillian Troy and her father Harvey outside the Albion fire hall.

Albion Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheehan, left, presents a “Green Cross” award to Jeremy Graham, assistant fire chief, for the fire department’s life-saving efforts on June 21 for Jillian Troy.

Firefighters arrived in Albion’s rescue truck with the Jaws of Life. They used the tools to carefully tear off the roof and remove posts inside the vehicle. They removed Jillian who was then transported by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital.

Dalle said firefighters had Jillian out and on Mercy Flight within 15 minutes of the call.

“I remember walking away from that call and thinking I’m so proud of this department,” Dalle said. “Everything went picture perfect.”

Because the call came so early in the morning, before the firefighters went to work, many of them were on the scene within minutes.

The following firefighters received “Green Cross” awards: Rob Connor, James Herdendorf, Charlie Monacelli, Rocky Sidari, Will Francis, Matt Francis, Dale Banker, Andrew Cheverie, Mike Dalle, Jeremy Graham, Chuck Prentice, Al Cheverie and Steven Papponetti.

Jillian grew up in Britain in Suffolk, north of London. She moved to Albion about 18 months ago and lived with her grandparents until her mother and father joined her in Orleans County in November. Jillian worked at Claims Recovery Financial Services in Albion.

Her family is well-known in the Albion area. Her great-grandfather is Frenchy Downey, owner of Frenchy’s TV and Appliances on Ridge Road.

“She almost died,” Jillian’s mother said. “It was very traumatic. We just wanted to thank the firemen.”