County recognizes week 10 COVID-19 heroes
MAYVILLE — Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and the COVID-19 Response Team recently announced the tenth week of COVID-19 Hero nominations for April 12-16. Nominations are recognized in a video posted weekdays on the Chautauqua County Government Facebook page, and each nominee receives a personal note from the County Executive’s Office.
“This week we again recognized a tremendous group of frontline workers often putting the safety and wellbeing of others before their own,” said County Executive PJ Wendel. “I want to again personally thank our week nine nominees: Willard “Billy” Furlow, Joshua Newark, Steve Jagoda, Stan Kelly, Helicia Linton, Charles Holder, Riley Jane Farnham, Alyssa Nocek, Chris Reese, and Cheryl Gonyea. These individuals have risen to the challenge of helping others during a global pandemic, and are truly our COVID-19 Heroes.”
Billy Furlow works for Chautauqua County as a paramedic and was nominated by a number of people because he’s a hard worker and all around great guy. He has dedicated his life to serving his community and puts in long hours working to ensure the health and safety of others. Billy is a caring person who put the wellbeing of others before his own throughout the pandemic to ensure those in need were cared for. One individual to nominate Bill was his nephew, who said he works hard to save people and drives the coolest fly car, making him his hero.
Joshua Newark also works as a paramedic for Chautauqua County EMS and has worked countless hours including not only his assigned shifts but overtime shifts as well to serve the people of Chautauqua County. He never once has considered delaying care to any patient during this pandemic or at any time for that matter. Joshua is incredible at his job and the people in the area where he works are extremely lucky to have someone with his professionalism and expertise.
Steve Jagoda works for the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s office as a 911 dispatcher. This makes him an essential part of the emergency response system and getting help to those in need. Steve is one of the main fire/ems dispatchers and is coordinating the response of many calls throughout Chautauqua County on a daily basis. He goes above and beyond to make sure emergency responses are flawless, and works many extra hours to make sure the 911 Center is fully staffed. His knowledge and dedication to the entire operation is impeccable.
Stan Kelly is a volunteer firefighter and EMT. He serves as chief of the Lily Dale volunteer fire department and goes above and beyond to help others in need, putting their health and wellbeing before his own.
Helicia Linton works as a visiting nurse and is also a volunteer firefighter with Clymer Volunteer Fire Department. She goes above and beyond the call of duty, and is someone who would give the shirt off her back to someone in need. As a past EMT she has an awesome bedside manner and is an all-around great, selfless person.
Charles Holder formerly worked with the County Sheriff’s office, and is a volunteer EMT and firefighter. During the pandemic, he worked to help conduct COVID-19 testing at Jamestown Community College and always goes above and beyond in serving others in a time of emergency.
Riley Jane Farnham is a local hospital employee and volunteer firefighter with the Bemus Point Fire Department. She was nominated for transporting an elderly patient via ambulance, who noted and greatly appreciated how comforting and helpful Riley Jane was.
Alyssa Nocek is a registered respiratory therapist at Brooks Memorial Hospital. From the first positive case at the hospital to the many COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic she has worked tirelessly to do everything she can to improve the lives of her patients. Every day she would “suit up” without complaint. While all respiratory therapists deserve our gratitude, Alyssa is a very special person.
Chris Reese is a COVID-19 hero because he serves his community on a daily basis, putting others before himself as Westfield Fire Chief. As a responder and firefighter he puts himself at risk all the time, and just earlier this year fought a house fire in freezing temperatures all night long. He did it with a smile on his face and with his brothers and sisters fighting alongside him. He recently battled COVID-19 himself and is stronger and even more willing to help because of it. Chris is a family man, is generous and willing to be on the frontline for others. His acts more than qualify him to be a Chautauqua County COVID-19 Hero.
Cheryl Gonyea works in the lab at Brooks Memorial Hospital, and while those working in the labs aren’t often thought of as “front-line,” they have been doing all of the testing during this difficult time. They have been putting in extra hours and working under very stressful conditions as much as doctors, nurses, and other front line workers have, and are truly heroes during this pandemic.