Springfield Exchange Club honors local first responders - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Springfield Exchange Club honors local first responders

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

The Springfield Exchange Club has been around for more than nine decades, with the group's main focus to help prevent child abuse.

At their second annual gala held at the Storrowton Tavern's Carriage House Saturday night, the club paid tribute to two first responders who rose to the occasion when they were called to act.

One of their Blue and Gold honorees was Springfield Police Commissioner William Fitchet.

The club recognized the commissioner for the role he played in ending a near 8 hour stand-off in Ludlow last July.

His actions kept former police sergeant George Stuart alive, as he wound up shooting himself in the stomach.

Fitchet told CBS 3 he passes the credit on to the rest of those involved.

"All of the police officers and firefighters in Springfield every day risk their lives on critical incidents," said Fitchet. "So, I accept the award very humbly. There were a lot of other people that did a lot of things on that particular day."

Also honored with a Blue and Gold award at the event was Lt. Ty Alexander of the Springfield Fire Department.

Alexander was the first officer on the scene this past November when the Scores gentleman's club exploded due to a natural gas leak.

Alexander is credited with getting the evacuations under way, which led to no loss of life despite all of the damage caused by the explosion.

"He took control of the incident," said Joseph Conant, Commissioner of the Springfield Fire Department. "He is the one that made all of the decisions on the evacuations, calling for more help. He is pretty much the end result why so many lives were saved and injuries prevented because of his actions that night."

Also recognized Saturday night was high school student Kennisha Young.

She attends Putnam Vocational High School.

Young received the ACE award, which is given to a student who has overcome great obstacles to graduate high school.

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