Jan. 02--FORTY FORT -- West Side first responders were treated to a First Night cookout in appreciation for their work and the first-time event could be held annually. one.
Incoming Forty Fort Mayor Andy Tuzinski had plenty of help putting together the spread for police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians from Kingston, Forty Fort, Luzerne, Swoyersville and Wyoming.
"It was a community effort inspired by an idea by my wife," Tuzinski said Wednesday.
He manned the grill outside the fire department at the borough building, flipping burgers and turning hot dogs. Inside there were salads, pizza, chips and soft drinks.
Tuzinski, 46, said, that as a nurse his wife, Suzie, knew it would be well received and appreciated by the people who work the overnight shift.
"She said, 'You know, we really don't go out on New Year's, why don't you do something nice for the police, firefighters and EMTS,' " Tuzinski explained.
Wyoming Mayor Bob Boyer donated soft drinks. Pizza Bella donated 10 pizzas.Some council members provided the salads and chips. Tuzinski and his wife bought the hamburgers hot dogs and rolls.
"Everybody had a nice time," Tuzinski said.
"Fortunately, it was quiet while we were doing this" and there were no emergencies, he said.
He estimated between 25 and 30 people attended the cookout. A paramedic unit from Transmed ambulance showed up, as did Plains Township Medic Unit 2 and the Wyoming EMS.
"One of the police officers said, 'This is really nice. Everybody's closed,' " because of the holiday and he and the others were able to have a meal, Tuzinski said.
It didn't cost much and people were willing to pitch in, leading Tuzinski to consider doing it again.
"I think so," he said.
Besides his wife and family, support came from the Craig and Swaback families of Forty Fort, Councilwoman Karen Martinelli and incoming Councilman Jeff McLaughlin.
A volunteer firefighter for approximately 30 years, Tuzinski had a chance to see old friends and make new ones.
He'll see some familiar faces next week when he's sworn as mayor at the borough building. The ceremony takes place at 3 p.m. Jan. 6.
The top priority coming into office for the Republican is "to help keep Forty Fort safe and to foster good cooperation between all facets of emergency services," he said.
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