Two Kingston first responders receive Medals of Valor for saving children

KINGSTON, Pa .– The gymnasium at the Kingston Recreation Center exploded to applause as the crowd cheered on two first responders.

The Kingston council meeting has been suspended so that Constable Matthew Bonawitz and Deputy Fire Chief Floyd Young can be honored to save two children trapped in a fire at a house on Chester Street in March.

Constable Bonawitz arrived at the scene first at around 3 a.m. and his family learned outside that there were still two children inside. He ran in and saved one of those children from the first floor.

“He came back and the second child was still at home,” said Kingston Mayor Paul Roberts, Jr.

This second child was on the second floor. Agent Bonawitz could not get there because of the flames.

That’s when the Kingston Forty Fort Fire Department arrived.

Deputy Chief Young and Bonawitz saved the second child using Young’s scale.

“Receiving the attention is humbling, but it’s our job, that’s what we’re here for and luckily it worked,” said Chief Young.

“Once the fire department arrived it was a huge relief, and once Chief Young arrived it was a relief,” Bonawitz said.

While the men knew they were honored, they had no idea they would receive the Medal of Valor.

The mayor says Kingston has never given out a Medal of Valor before, but after speaking to heads of both departments, they felt the men deserved it.

The men said that getting the Medal of Valor was an honor.

But what really touched them was a plaque made for them by the children they saved: Kayden and Joseph.

“It was the best. It was better than anything. It was all any public servant could do,” said Chief Young.

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About Kristina McManus

Kristina McManus

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