Strongsville Fire Lt. AJ Aljabi and police Officer Brian Vlna were honored Monday as Firefighter of the Year and Police Officer of the Year by the St. Francis of Assisi Council 10792 of the Knights of Columbus.
Patrick Gale, grand knight of the Strongsville organization, said Vlna was chosen for his efforts in training other police officers in firearms, defensive tactics, use of Tasers and first aid, spending countless hours of his on time on lesson plans.
"It means a lot," Vlna said. "My mom was killed in a car accident 10 days ago. I wish she could have been here for it."
Aljabi was honored for his efforts in training not only firefighters, but the general public, CPR skills.
"It's a great honor," he said. "As a lieutenant, the only reason I shine is the guys who work for me."
K of C member Bill Burdick said this is the fourth year his group has honored a and .
"You are what makes Strongsville strong," Burdick said.
The group also honored Police Chief Charles Goss, who will retire at the end of September.