Oakville Elks honor firefighters, police officers

Firefighters and police officers recently were honored during the annual First Responder Dinner and Awards Night sponsored by the Oakville Elks.

Honored by the Elks were John Lipina of the Mehlville Fire Protection District, Larry Lewellen of the Lemay Fire Protection District, Eric Middendorf of the St. Louis County Police Department and Michael Torizzo of the St. Louis County Police Department.

Officials of the various departments nominated a member deserving of special recognition for meritorious service to the community and their department, a news release stated.

Lipina, a Mehlville firefighter/paramedic, always has gone above and beyond for the community and his fellow firefighters by taking on any task placed before him, according to the release.

Lewellen, a captain, has led his crew to the heights of professional service since joining the Lemay district, according to the release.

Middendorf, an officer with the Police Department’s Affton/Southwest Precinct, distinguished himself by going above and beyond in rescuing a despondent youth who was standing on the edge of a building, attempting to jump. Middendorf was able to talk her out of it and return her to safety, the release stated.

Torizzo, an officer with the Police Department’s South County Precinct, distinguished himself by his constant alertness while on the job. Torizzo has worked hard to reduce crime by his actions to apprehend criminals before and during their crimes, according to the release.