Hockey player Sean Dickson receives honor from the New Hartford Fire Department

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Photo from Sean Dickson who is on the far right.

Nick McAdam, Editor-in-Chief

Utica College men’s hockey goalie Sean Dickson was recently named the William V. Kelly Emergency Medical Technician of the Year from the New Hartford Fire Department. 

The fire department issues annual awards to those who go above and beyond with their service. Of the department’s 1,100 plus calls per year, more than 75% percent of them are medical.

The award is named after Kelly, a 39-year member of the department. In 1937, Kelly established what today is known as the Emergency Medical Service. He trained several New Hartford firemen and residents of Oneida County in First Aid and emergency resuscitation.

Dickson is currently in his junior year at the college majoring in health studies. Jim Monahan, director of nursing at Utica College and the assistant chief of the New Hartford Fire Department, said this is a great accomplishment of Dickson, who attends school full-time and plays starting minutes with the Utica Pioneers.

“He was selected for this award by the fire officers of NHFD where he stood out for his prehospital care even during the pandemic,” Monahan said. “He continues to serve as an EMT/Firefighter for New Hartford and is looked up to by many of the younger members in the department and this award shows the younger members something to strive for and make a difference in the community as he has done.”

Dickson started his time with the department after acquiring both his National EMT Certification and his New York State EMT. His current role at the department involves a mixture of everything else he’s involved with, along with waiting for different types of 911 calls.

“Early morning hockey practice mixed with a mostly virtual class schedule provides me with a lot of free time to go on emergency calls,” Dickson said. “I have gained a lot of experience and knowledge through the New Hartford Fire Department. Each day is an opportunity to experience a new challenge and I absolutely love it.”

Dickson was humbled to receive the award. According to him, he was fortunate to be influenced by many others who have experience in the EMS field. He also gives a lot of credit to his current involvements to help develop his discipline in all walks of life. 

“The discipline I have developed through being a student-athlete at Utica College prepared me tremendously to obtain my EMT certification and perform in the field as an EMS provider,” he said. 

On the ice, Dickson holds a .942 save percentage with an average of 1.34 goals against. He’s played in a total of three games so far this season, logging over 178 minutes and posting a record of 2-1-1. In two years with the team, he’s competed in a total of 18 games and holds a starting record of 7-3 with a .923 save percentage.

Dickson’s head coach, Gary Heenan, admires his hard work and ability to balance all of the components in his life at one time.

“He is a serious-minded, hard-working individual who takes a disciplined approach in everything he does,” Heenan said. “It’s admirable that he has been able to balance hockey, athletics and community volunteerism. He is inspired by his father, a former firefighter who recently passed. We are very proud of him.”

After graduation, Dickson plans to pursue a career in professional hockey. Following that, he plans to move back home to the San Francisco Bay Area and continue his work as a firefighter paramedic.