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Released: 6/11/2012 

DRPA Confers Christopher Milito Awards on 25 Police Officers and Public Safety Staff

Annual service commendations named in honor of DRPA police corporal killed the line of duty

The Delaware River Port Authority conferred its Second Annual Christopher Milito Awards upon 25 police officers and public safety support staff for heroism and meritorious service.

The awards are named in honor of DRPA Corporal Christopher Milito, who died in the line of duty in 2010.

“Last year, the recipients of the 2012 Milito Awards have saved dozens of lives and protected millions of dollars’ worth of public and private property,” said CEO John J. Matheussen.  “Not many people can say that at the end of the day.  We’re grateful to them for risking their lives to keep our facilities and customers safe.”

Acting Sergeant Steven Hogan was selected as the 2012 DRPA Police Officer of the Year for his leadership, work ethic and consistently superior professional performance.

Awards for Heroism were accepted by Officers Joseph Graziano, Sean Longfellow, John T. Hogan, Hugh McIntyre, Robert Crean, Larry Goodwin, Matthew Murray, Sergeant Christopher Bell and Corporal Tim Hoagland for selfless dedication to duty during separate 2011 incidents involving fire in a train and an automobile.

•In the early morning of April 16, 2011, a small explosion under PATCO rail car caused it to fill with smoke.  The train had just arrived at City Hall Station in Camden and was brimming with passengers who had boarded in Philadelphia.

Officer Graziano, already aboard the train, immediately told the operator to open all train doors.  Graziano then called for fire fighters, EMS and police back-up.  He began escorting passengers through heavy smoke from the train to street level.  

Although he was beginning to suffer from smoke inhalation, Graziano kept working until  Officers Crean, Hogan, Longfellow and McIntyre arrived to help move passengers, including one in a wheelchair, from the car to street level.

•Just after midnight on November 4, 2011, Officer Goodwin saw a northbound car on Interstate 676 fail to negotiate a turn.  The car left the roadway, struck a light pole and burst into flames.  Two passengers ran from the vehicle.

Goodwin called for back-up, fire fighters and EMS.  Then he ran to the car with a fire extinguisher and began to fight the fire.

Suddenly, one of the passengers began screaming: “My sister is in the back seat!”
 
Sergeant Bell, Corporal Hoagland and Officer Murray arrived at the scene.  The four officers tried to beat down the flames with Goodwin’s fire extinguisher, but the trapped girl was fully engulfed in flames.  Bell smothered the flames with his coat and hands and pulled the girl out, while the other officers backed the remaining passengers further away from the blazing car.

Although rescued, the trapped girl was in critical condition.  Hoagland, who is also a N.J  certified emergency medical technician, administered oxygen and kept her airway open until advanced life support arrived and transported her to Cooper University Hospital.

Merit Awards were presented to Corporal Dan Ragone, Officers James McCausland, John Fenuto, Christopher Tubens, Gary Smith, Richard Ciaccia and Nick DeLuca.

Letters of Commendation were awarded to Sergeant Andre Brown (recipient of two), Sergeant Steve McCarron, Corporal Shawn Dougherty, Officers Stephanie Byrd, Gary Smith, Kenneth Blosser, Daniel Grazioli, Joseph McCalla, Christopher Grusemeyer and Dispatcher Charles Thorp.

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The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency that connects millions of people and businesses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The DRPA owns and operates the PATCO commuter rail line and the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross toll bridges.  The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.


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