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City, Chamber Salute Civil Servants

A flight to Cancun just after the terrorist attacks had passengers on edge but when one man had a heart attack, Scott Trottman went into action, administering CPR.

With help from his wife Brandi who was a nursing student at the Northern Virginia Community College, the passengers stayed calm even though the victim never regained consciousness.

"I was panic stricken, he's always the cool one," she said.

Trottman is a firefighter in the City of Fairfax and his quick actions were recognized at the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards Luncheon, Thursday, Feb. 28, at Fire Station #3 in Fairfax.

Also recognized for the Volunteer Firefighter of the Year 2001, Edward Wilkinson, Sergeant Carl Pardiny, the Police Officer of the Year 2001 and Jim Mirabile as the Career Fire Fighter/Paramedic of the Year 2001. In addition, James Pike, Bruce Suslowitz and Kimberly Dunn were recognized with an honorable mention.

Pardiny talked a potential suicide victim out of harm's way; Mirable was recognized for his help with the honor guard, his successful interaction with the public, firefighter competitions and their new uniforms; Pike and Suslowitz for their assistance in an apartment fire where firefighters were trapped; and Dunn for recognizing a hazardous situation in an apartment fire while she was in Takoma Park on another call.

"She again placed herself in jeopardy," said City of Fairfax Fire Chief Gary Mesaris.

Police Chief Richard Rappaport talked about the incident with Pardiny even though it occurred in Centreville.

"He would only speak with Sgt. Pardiny. He was on the phone with the man for over two hours," Rappaport said.

Mayor John Mason, councilman Rob Lederer, city manager Bob Sisson, Vivian Baltz, Earl Berner and other city notaries were at the luncheon which was catered by Red, Hot and Blue restaurant.

JOAN CROSS, one of the candidates for the City Council elections in May, noted the significance recognizing the city's emergency services.

"We have such terrific services here in the city. Once a year is far too little to recognize their services," she said.

Although no one in particular was awarded for their service on Sept. 11 at the Pentagon, some city rescue workers were on the scene, and some were burned by jet fuel during the fire.

"Fifty-one members of our department responded over a three week period," chief Mesaris said.

Rappaport explained the new meaning of "thank you" besides the meaning instilled when the phrase is written "on a trash can or to conclude the conversation," he said. Since Sept. 11, "thank you to police and fire fighters means more," he said.

Carol Scanlon, a member of the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, gave a special presentation to HEROs Inc., which is an organization in the metropolitan area that recognizes the officers' sacrifices. HEROs stands for Honor Every Responsible Officers Sacrifice. It was founded 35 years ago.

The chamber held a fund-raiser on Feb. 12 which netted $500, Red, Hot and Blue pitched in another $500 and Debra Watkins pitched in another $200 from her company, Southern Financial Bank.

"This is the 19th year the Central Fairfax Chamber presented this luncheon," Scanlon said.