The North Country Public Safety Foundation made the right call at its recent honors program. It recognized the men and women who rushed to Randolph last June to render aid at what was perhaps the worst roadway accident in modern New Hampshire history.
As most everyone in our state knows, seven motorcyclists -- members of the Marine and Navy Corpsmen “Jarheads” group, as well as these members’ loved ones -- were killed when a tractor-trailer slammed into them.
For the first time in the foundation’s history, the award honored multiple people. Nearly six dozen people were collectively recognized as the foundation’s police, fire and medical personnel of the year.
John Scarinza, former State Police Troop F commander, and now a Coos County deputy sheriff, was among the responders at the scene.
At the dinner, he reassured everyone who had been there: “You sprang into action in a moment’s notice and you did your jobs to the best of your ability and training. And you did this work with an unwavering grace, dignity and respect for the fallen and injured.”
Recognizing such work is the reason for the foundation, which began to assist former Sugar Hill Police Chief Jose Pequeno, who was nearly killed by a roadside bomb while serving as a National Guardsman in Iraq. Since then, it has raised more than $1 million to assist first responders and their families in Grafton and Coos counties.
The North Country Public Safety Foundation is part and parcel of what this area of New Hampshire is all about, people banding together in times of trouble. Good on them all.