Stoddard Fire Department remembers one of its own
STODDARD - Despite a raging blizzard, more than 300 people gathered in the James Faulkner Elementary School to say goodbye to Stoddard son and firefighter Shannon Sarcione on Saturday morning.
Sarcione, 39, died from injuries he suffered in a logging accident in Andorra Forest near School Street on Monday.
During the service, Stoddard Fire Chief P.J. Lamothe read a decree making Sarcione an honorary fire chief of the town.
Lamothe talked about Sarcione's start with the department as an Explorer. A third generation firefighter, he joined at the age of 19. In 2012, he was promoted to captain.
"He was working toward his dream of achieving the rank of fire chief," Lamothe said. "Shannon, I am honored to have served alongside you and I am honored to call you Chief Shannon Sarcione."
She recalled his heroic actions in 2009 when he and other members of Stoddard Fire & Rescue saved a man who was caught in the spillway of the Highland Lake Dam and was clinging to a cable.
"Shannon was captain of the boat and he was struggling because the boat was . heading toward the spillway of the dam," she said. After the man was rescued, Lamothe said she remarked to Sarcione that it was a close call. He gave her "that smirk," and said, "I had it under control."
"Shannon was a great leader and took his responsibilities very seriously. Shannon also liked to have fun. He was a wise guy," she said. "He left an impression on all of us."
In 2010, Sarcione, along with the Stoddard Fire & Rescue team, were awarded the Lawrence A. Volz Emergency Medical Service Heroism Award by the State of New Hampshire Emergency Medical Service Committee of Merit for their heroism during the spillway rescue on Aug. 8, 2009.
Sarcione was also a loving father to his son, Hayden, 11, and son to his parents, Joseph and Bonnie Sarcione, she said.
His father, the department's deputy chief, has been a Stoddard firefighter for 35 years.
Sarcione is also survived by his girlfriend, Lauren Aliseo, and her daughter, Deonna Thompson, of Stoddard, as well as many other family members.
"You were his brothers," Lamothe to the Stoddard firefighters.
Through his love of the woods, he created a successful logging and excavating business, J&S Cordwood, LLC, with his father, Lamothe said.
He was also a special deputy warden with the State of New Hampshire Division of Forest and Land and a deputy warden for Stoddard.
When Hayden stepped up to speak about his father, Lamothe helped him read what he had prepared.
"My dad may be gone but is not forgotten. My dad was the best dad ever," Lamothe said, reading for Hayden.
Hayden talked about everything they did together, from building their home, to hunting, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling and ice fishing.
"Dad taught me so many things in just a short time," he said.
Lamothe said Sarcione was a loving man who filled his life with family and adventures.
"Shannon's love was constant, and I felt it personally," she said.
Firefighter Stephen McGerty led the crowd in the Fireman's Prayer as the last alarm bell was rung in honor of Sarcione. The service was attended by many firefighters from neighboring communities.
Sarcione, a lifelong resident of Stoddard, graduated from Keene High School in 1991.