BETHANY - At its recent annual dinner, the Bethany Athletic Association presented a special award to the Bethany Volunteer Fire Department.

The award honors the department and its members for their "loyal and dedicated service to the citizens of Bethany and to the health and well-being of all they come in contact with."

The citation was presented to Fire Chief George Quinn by Alex Cofrancesco of the BAA "with sincere gratitude by unanimous vote of the organization."

Gene Cofrancesco, incoming BAA president, told The Bulletin that, "We talk about appreciation. Then we thought it would be particularly appropriate this year" because of the New York City firemen's heroic and tragic role in the World Trade Center disaster Sept. 11.

Cofrancesco said people sometimes "kind of take the department for granted" but that it's "the crux" of emergency response in Bethany.

"The award is heartfelt," he added. "They're appreciated."