First responders honored for actions at scene of fatal helicopter crash

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Monday, Monroe County leaders honored the first responders who stepped up after tragedy struck last January.

Three soldiers — Chief Warrant Officers Steven Skoda, Christian Koch, and Daniel Prial — were killed in a helicopter crash in Mendon on January 20. Some of the officers, EMTs, and firefighters who responded to that heartbreaking scene knew the victims personally, making that night all the more difficult.

That’s why County Executive Adam Bello honored that group Monday evening, for their unwavering bravery.

“You still responded and you pushed through with the utmost professionalism and respect. Despite the potential danger, you knew your duty,” Bello said. “I’m really in awe — not just because of your bravery and sense of duty but your dedication. All the time you spent away from family to train and learn what to do and do it calmly in the eye of the storm.”

According to the New York State National Guard, a procedural error was the cause of that fatal crash.

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