BPD recognizes ‘Community Heroes’; Gingell named 2023 Lees Award recipient

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Oakland Mapleville Fire Department Firefighter/EMT Madison McCutcheon receives the Community Hero Award from Burrillville Police Col.Stephen Lynch.

BURRILLVILLE – At the Burrillville Police Department’s 10th annual awards ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 14, officials recognized outstanding achievements and service to the community by local citizens, with former Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell receiving this year’s highest honor: the Wallace F. Lees Award.

The recently retired chief was among more than a dozen citizen recipients of BPD honors at the event. Those in the law enforcement ranks were also recognized for their achievements over the past year.

Gingell, a lifelong Burrillville resident, retired from his role as chief this past September, after holding the position since 2018. The former chief began serving in Harrisville in 1974 at the age of 16, and rose through the ranks, serving without interruption over the decades to follow.

Named after the late Chief Wallace F. Lees, the award recognizes generosity and dedication to the community.

Among his many achievements, Gingell is a member of the Burrillville Prevention Action Coalition, the Burrillville Housing Authority and the Knights of Columbus, and has served on the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs. He was previously named Rhode Island EMT of the Year in 2014, and later, Firefighter of the Year by the Chepachet Grange 38.

“Look up devotion to duty and you will find him,” said Col. Stephen Lynch, describing Gingell as, “a true and trusted leader of this community, as was Chief Lees.”

Other recipients of BPD honors included Mary Chenot, Kaitlyn Fleming and Hannah Silva, three BPAC youth participants who were recently named MADD RI Youth Champions of the Year.

“All three have been participating in prevention initiatives since the sixth grade,” said Lynch. “These three have represented Burrillville incredibly well.” 

Madison McCutcheon, a 22-year-old member of the Oakland Mapleville Fire Department, was recognized for saving the life of a choking senior co-worker during an incident that took place while she was still in training. McCutcheon was alone eating lunch with the co-worker and realized she had to perform the heimlich maneuver and, “she had better do it right and she had better do it fast,” according to Lynch.

“Her actions were nothing less than heroic,” said the colonel.

Burrillville Police Col. Stephen Lynch presents the Lifetime Achievement Award to Albert Mottola.

Longtime Western Hotel owner Albert Mottola was one of two recipients of the department’s Lifetime Achievement Award. An active member of the community, Lynch noted Mottola served as president Parent Teacher Association at St Joseph’s and Father Holland School, sponsored sports teams, held endless pasta dinners at the restaurant to raise funds for community causes, was a founding member of the Bronco alumni and coached basketball, among other contributions.

“He was a mentor to those kids, and then provided them jobs,” said Lynch. “He should sleep very well with his legacy, and what he has meant to the town of Burrillville.”

The late Glocester Police Capt. Joseph Mattera also received the department’s Lifetime Achievement Award in a special presentation at his home prior to his death in November.

Lynch noted that the department’s awards committee chose Mattera as a recipient of the honor in September and soon after, became aware he was struggling in a battle with cancer. The department coordinated a visit to Mattera’s Harrisville home with Glocester Police Chief Joseph DelPrete and despite sickness, the captain got up and saluted.

“His family’s warmth overwhelmed all of us,” said Lynch, noted Mattera was a, “trusted and solid resident.” 

A brief video from the celebration can be found below, followed by the full list of awardees.

BPD ACTIVE DEPARTMENT MEMBER COMMENDATIONS:

  • Major Albert Carlow, Jr.
  • Lieutenant William Lacey
  • Lieutenant Jason Eddy
  • Det. Lieutenant Jason Cahill
  • Lieutenant Ryan Hughes
  • Sergeant Brian Pitts  
  • Sergeant Kyle Genereux  
  • Sergeant Henry Yakey  
  • Sergeant Robert Veader  
  • Sergeant Holly Barrett  
  • Officer Wayne Richardson
  • Officer Kathleen Kelley
  • Officer Jason Nault
  • Acting Sgt. Rebecca Carvalho
  • Officer Vincente Baffoni
  • Officer Jennifer Baker
  • Officer Bret Simas
  • Officer Ryan Turner
  • Officer Geoffrey Cicatiello
  • Officer Alexander Rosa
  • Officer Ian Richardson
  • Officer Lucas Pontbriant
  • Officer Joshua Slaney
  • Dispatcher Keith McCarthy

OTHER AWARDS:

  • Burrillville Animal Control Officer Kerry Courtemanche (Recognition)
  • Burrillville Deputy ACO Dan DiBattista (Recognition)
  • Retired Detective Lieutenant Guy Riendeau (Commendation)
  • Former BPD Officer Eric Harris (Commendation)
  • RISP Sergeant Adam Kennett (Recognition)
  • RISP Trooper Cameron Clift (Recognition)
  • Andrew Dimitri, Esq.  (Recognition)
  • OMFD FF/EMT Madison McCutcheon (Community Hero Award)
  • LIFESAVING AWARDS:
    • HFD LT Kevin Deschamps
    • HFD FF/EMT Matthew Alix
    • PFD Deputy Chief Richard Peck
    • PFD Captain Matthew Dupuis
    • PFD LT Thomas Walker
    • PFD LT Andrew Peck
    • PFD LT Mackenzie Beausoleil
    • PFD FF/Paramedic Randy Crow
    • PFD FF/EMT Ryan Peck
    • PFD FF/EMT Ashley Boucher
  • Albert Mottola  (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Ret. Glocester PD Captain Joseph Mattera (1962-2023) (Lifetime Achievement Award)
  • Retired Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell (2023 Wallace F. Lees Award Winner)

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