WEST HARTFORD, CT, May 7 – On Wednesday night, firefighters and police officers honored two men for their dedication and worked last year. Christopher Typer awarded police officer of the year and Robert Howe III named as firefighter of the year.
Robert Howe III is a 40-year-old apparatus operator whose heroism during a four-story apartment fire at 140 Kane Street in March 2016 was honored and recognized as West Hartford’s firefighter of the year.
Howe III’s battalion chief, William Kall, stated that Howe III went into the burning building and carried many residents out to safety. Firefighters responded to the fire where numerous people trapped inside of a building filled with fire and smoke. Responding firefighters stated that one resided jumped off a porch and several people were hanging out their windows calling for help. Crews reported that fire and smoke were visible coming from the building.
Mayor Shari Cantor made a proclamation that Howe III disregarded his safety and deployed an extension ladder without hesitation and rescued two adult occupants from their upper-level balcony by himself.
Kall stated his actions contributed to more than 100 people evaluated from the burning building. Of those 100 people, 18 were rescued by firefighters. Additionally, some of the residents in the building were in wheelchairs and safely recovered.
Howe III, a Tolland resident, has worked for the West Hartford Fire Department for the last 17 years. Howe III was promoted to apparatus operator in July 2012 and used his training to rescue those whose needed recovering from the fire.
Christopher Typer is a 29-year-old police officer who has worked for the West Hartford police since August 2010. Tyler began his career as a member of the patrol division and made his way up to becoming a member of the Community Interaction Team and the Emergency Services Unit. Tyler also served as a field training officer to help graduates from the police academy transition into police work. Gove also stated that Tyler completed an anti-terrorism program in Hartford.
Gove said Typer excels in different areas of police work, including working with kids, excelling in forensics science, do extensive community outreach and have a knack for locating and capturing criminals. Tyler is an ordinary crime fighter who is honest, ethical and goes above board on the job.
Tyler’s supervisors reported that Tyler had developed an excellent rapport with the West Hartford community. Members of the community hold Tyler in esteem due to his honesty and dedication. Tyler has also helped several individuals who were contemplating suicide find the help that they needed.
Gove went on to commend Tyler by saying that Tyler is mature, level-headed and holds himself with poise while making difficult decisions.
Tyler has received three unit citations, including one for a car pursuit in Hartford, an investigation and subsequent apprehension of a home invasion suspect and his work on a homicide investigation. During his career, he has received numerous departmental citations. In 2013, Tyler stopped an automobile. The passenger fled, but Tyler stayed with the driver and recovered a 45 calibre handgun that had its serial number filed off. Tyler and officer Gagnon stopped another car in 2015 and recovered a set of brass knuckles; a loaded 38 calibre revolver and two ounces of marijuana. The driver of the car was a convicted felon who had a lengthy criminal record. Finally, Tyler and Gagnon stopped a car last year and recovered a loaded Colt firearm.
Tyler also received a letter of commendation for helping an unresponsive 73-year-old gentleman who was the father of a West Hartford Police Officer.
The award ceremony hosted by the American Legion Post 96 and the West Hartford Exchange Club.