Medical Officer Adam “Doc” Corrado, MD, Congratulates Fight for Air Climbers

At the Avon Volunteer Fire Department’s (AVFD) corporation meeting earlier this month, AVFD medical officer Adam “Doc” Corrado, MD, gave out special awards to four volunteer firefighters who participated in the American Lung Association’s annual Fight for Air Climb fundraiser in Hartford at City Place. Chief Michael Trick, Lieutenant Ramona Mansfield, firefighter Dave Costill, and Lieutenant Aaron Gelber received “Esse Quam Videri” honors for their efforts as part of the team that raised over $1,300 for the American Lung Association.  Other AVFD members of the team were retired Chief Peter Delap, firefighter Jeremy Kawser, and headquarters administrator Katie Cormier.

AVFD Medical Officer Adam “Doc” Corrado (center) with AVFD “Esse Quam Videri” award recipients (from left to right) for the American Lung Association’s 2014 Hartford Fight for Air Climb: Firefighter Dave Costill, Lieutenant Aaron Gelber, Lieutenant Ramona Mansfield, and Chief Michael Trick.

Building upon the incredible work AVFD Lieutenant Ramona Mansfield has done captaining a Fight for Air Climb team for several years, Dr. Corrado leveraged this year’s event to promote firefighter health and wellness and challenged AVFD members to not only beat him to the top, but to climb all 34 floors (over 700 stairs) while on self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA, or the air firefighters breathe when fighting fires).

“Having participated in the climb without using SCBA previously, I knew the stakes,” says Dr. Corrado. “I offered the winner a trophy and $50 prize. I named it the ‘On Air’ stair challenge.”

With six weeks to go until the climb, training for the challenge began in earnest. To Dr. Corrado it quickly became clear it was going to be a tight race and, no matter who ended up winning the challenge, there were competitors who embodied the ideal of “Esse Quam Videri,” a Latin phrase that translates as “to be, rather than to seem [to be].” Esse Quam Videri is the motto of the Prescott Arizona Fire Department’s Granite Mountain Hot Shots, from which 19 firefighters lost their lives while fighting a wildland fire in June 2013.

“I decided to honor these 19 men by inscribing their motto on the trophy and naming the trophy for two men I want to forever memorialize: my uncle Joseph Burdo, who died of emphysema about six years ago, and Wade Scott Parker, who was one of the 19 Hot Shots killed last year,” says Corrado who was a member of the Central Yavapai Fire District in Arizona before moving to Connecticut. “Both men embodied ‘being, not seeming’ and I thought it a fitting tribute to them that the winners of our AVFD trophy, those who train and maintain their firefighting readiness in the service of their community, be recognized for their efforts with similar words and in honor of their memory.”

Dr. Corrado, who finished the climb in 10 minutes, 46 seconds on air, presented awards to:

Dave Costill
At 64 years old, firefighter Costill was the oldest member of the team and the oldest climber at the event. He received Dr. Corrado’s trophy and the $50 prize. “Firefighter Dave Costill emerged out the stairwell doorway of the 34th floor of City Place, sucking the last breath from his empty air bottle, 10 minutes and 37 seconds from the start, in exhausted and depleted victory,” says Corrado. “He is an inspiration to every member of the Department.” Costill won his age group for the second time in three years and was this year’s oldest firefighter finisher.

Michael Trick
Chief Trick received his honor for his exceptional display of leadership by example. As the first, and highest-ranking member of the AVFD to accept the On Air challenge, he left no excuse for any subordinate to not rise to the occasion. His tenacity and drive kept each participant moving forward, and demonstrated character worthy of recognition.

Ramona Mansfield
Lieutenant Mansfield independently led an ever-increasing team to the charity event four years running. This dedication is a testament to her service as a firefighter above and beyond her regular duties, and character worthy of recognition. Aside from that, she finished the climb in 13 minutes 49 seconds, taking runner-up for fastest female firefighter in gear in the 40-49 age bracket.

Aaron Gelber
Despite a leg injury, Lieutenant Gelber continued the climb all the way to the top and joined his teammates at the end, displaying character worthy of recognition.

Incorporated in 1943, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department proudly protects more than 18,000 people living in the 22.6 square mile area that makes up the Town of Avon. The Department’s mission is to provide fire suppression and prevention, life safety and rescue support, as well as other community support to the citizens of the Town of Avon. In addition, the Department provides mutual aid support to those surrounding communities that, in time of need, may request such assistance.

Staffed entirely by volunteers, the Avon Volunteer Fire Department prides itself on the selflessness and dedication of its members – firefighters, fire police, administrative members, Explorers, active veterans, senior veterans, and associate members, all of whom play a vital role in the safety of Avon. The Department operates six companies and 15 pieces of apparatus, including a brush truck, ladder truck, tanker, rescue vehicle, boat, and pumpers. Four stations are located throughout Town – Company 1 on Darling Drive, Company 2 on Secret Lake Road, Company 3 on West Avon Road, and Company 4 on Huckleberry Hill Road. Anyone interested in learning more about the AVFD should call the Avon Volunteer Fire Department (AVFD) at 677-2644, visit, connect on Facebook at AvonVFD, or stop by the Company 1 firehouse located at 25 Darling Drive any Monday evening after 7:00.

Photo caption: AVFD Medical Officer Adam “Doc” Corrado (center) with AVFD “Esse Quam Videri” award recipients (from left to right) for the American Lung Association’s 2014 Hartford Fight for Air Climb: Firefighter Dave Costill, Lieutenant Aaron Gelber, Lieutenant Ramona Mansfield, and Chief Michael Trick.