Fire Company Inducts a New Honorary Member and Gives Back with Love

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The Domitrovits family with John Paulding Engine Company #16 president Darrell Butler
The Domitrovits family with John Paulding Engine Company #16 president Darrell Butler

During his swearing-in ceremony Monday night the newest member of John Paulding Engine Company #16, Sparkill-Palisades Fire District was beaming with joy and excitement.

Brian Domitrovits, dressed in his firefighter’s jacket, fire hat and cool blue-and-black sneaker couldn’t wait to ride in the fire truck, blast the horn and sound the siren.

A bright-eyed youngster with a contagious smile, he turns five on December 29.

The emotional evening held as much meaning for his parents, Lauren and Brian Domitrovits. “It’s Brian’s lifetime of special events for him to take part of, to feel he has support of that group,” Lauren Domitrovits said.

On August 2014, their son was diagnosed with A-T (ataxia-telangiectasia), a rare and fatal genetic disorder that affects the nervous system, immune system, and other body systems of only about 500 children in the United States.

New Honorary firefighter
New honorary firefighter

“We reached out to the pediatrician for more information,” Domitrovits said. To date several fundraising events have been held in support of Brian and his family and the nonprofit research foundation, A-T Children’s Project (

The family, including one-year-old Andrew, lives on the same block as the Sparkhill Firehouse, which responded when the family sought help from the community.

“Our goal was to build more awareness, which leads to more funding and more hope,” she said. “We’re making as many happy memories for Brian as we can, and to make sure he laughs and smiles every day.”

Brian and his parents were presented with a plaque and badge of honorary membership.

“This is another life-altering opportunity for him and for us,” his mom said. “We never want to look back and say we could have done more, should have done more.”

The youngest honoree was presented with a plaque containing information about the firehouse and the company and a badge that firefighters wear on their dress uniforms.

Highlights of the evening included an official vote to nominate Brian Domitrovits, after which he rode in the fire truck, blasted its siren and rang the bell.

John Paulding Engine Company #16
John Paulding Engine Company #16

“The family appreciated it,” Yannazzone agreed. “We gave him a plaque and an official badge” to the youngest voluntary firefighter who, he said, was upstairs with the fire truck most of the evening.

“Our purpose was two-fold,” he said, turning serious. “This was one local fire department giving back to the community and to the family in need, and we also brought awareness to the A-T Children’s Project and what people can do to help.”

“He was beaming and giggling,” his mom said. “When Chief Mike offered us the opportunity I never imagined the ceremony and all the grandeur they’d give him. At four you can feel how big this is for him.”

For information about the A-T Children’s Project call 800-5-HELPA-T (800.543.5728) or see links below:

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