Mainstreet Piqua announces grand marshal


PIQUA — Piqua is set to pay tribute to six members of the Piqua Fire Department for their heroic efforts during a summer traffic crash.

They will be honored as the grand marshals of the downtown Piqua Holiday Parade, scheduled to roll down Main Street this Saturday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m., said a Piqua Main Street press release.

Firefighter/paramedics Jackson Karakis, Brandon Lavy, Drew Maas, Robert Gerodimos, Tyler Beard and Capt. Doug Stewart were presented with Meritorious Service Awards from the city of Piqua for their exemplary actions following an accident on Aug. 18, 2023, at the northbound rest area on Interstate 75 involving a vehicle colliding with the rear of a semi-tractor trailer. The passenger vehicle became wedged underneath the truck.

As stated in the accompanying narrative for the Meritorious Service Awards, “The vehicle sustained heavy damage and did not appear to be survivable. Crews quickly learned there was a live victim in the wreckage and began rescue operations. Due to the sheer magnitude and complexity of the extrication, the event took 45 minutes to free the victim who sustained major trauma and was then CareFlighted from the scene. If it had not been for the technical expertise and teamwork of the arriving crews, the outcome for the patient may have been completely different. The actions displayed that day by the crew’s professionalism reflect great credit upon them, the Piqua Fire Department, and the city of Piqua. In keeping with the highest traditions of the Piqua Fire Department …”

Dr. Paul Heintz, board president of Mainstreet Piqua, expressed appreciation, stating, “We love recognizing individuals whose good work and faithful service to the Piqua community generally go unnoticed and unrecognized, and these firefighters certainly deserve special recognition for their efforts.”

The Piqua firefighters will lead the parade as the second unit, following the Piqua Police Department.

The downtown Piqua Holiday Parade’s theme is “Holiday Heroes” and is part of the Holiday Experiences in Piqua weekend, featuring Christmas on the Green on Friday, Dec. 1, from 6 – 9 p.m. and the downtown Piqua Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2.

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