Chautauqua County Recognizes Fifth Week of COVID-19 Heroes


Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel and the COVID-19 Response Team recently announced the fifth week of COVID-19 Hero nominations for March 8-12. Nominations are recognized in a video posted weekdays on the Chautauqua County Government Facebook page, and each nominee receives a personal note from the County Executive’s Office.

“We continue to receive nominations daily, and all nominees will be recognized in the general order which they were submitted,” said County Executive PJ Wendel. “I want to again personally thank our fifth week of nominees: Chautauqua County Fire Police, Dunkirk Fire Department Rescue 1, Chris Mattison, Kelsey Mattison, and Chautauqua Adult Day Services. These individuals have risen to the challenge of working during a global pandemic, and are truly our COVID-19 Heroes.”

The Chautauqua County Fire Police Response Team has remained dedicated to supporting our local battle against COVID-19, putting in countless volunteer hours to support our testing and vaccine clinics. Since the first request for assistance, they have responded regardless of location or weather, often coming from all areas of the county on short notice. Most recently, the fire police team was on scene of a structure fire this past Friday starting around 5:00AM. Then, after working that scene all morning, they continued to the scheduled vaccination clinic at JCC where they stayed until 2:00PM, without any hesitation.

The firefighters and officers assigned to “Rescue 1” in the City of Dunkirk have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic since it began last March and have dedicated themselves to treating and transporting countless COVID patients to the hospital. Through their dedication, pride, and determination the residents and those who work in the city have been served at the highest level. Day in and day out they provide excellent care both medically and emotionally to scared and ill people, treating each and every patient in the most professional manner. The members of the DFD pride themselves on being quiet professionals, not needing or seeking public praise, but in these unprecedented times, the morale boost is well needed and deserved.

Chris Mattison is an RN Nurse Manager at Heritage Park who has worked diligently to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within the nursing home facility. He spends countless hours working to ensure the safety of residents and staff, often sacrificing family time with his young daughter. Kelsey Mattison is a paramedic with Alstar, and is married to Chris. She was pregnant with their first child when the pandemic began but continued working to provide care for others in need, and their daughter was welcomed in May 2020. Kelsey has continued working throughout the pandemic. It has been hectic for their family with two healthcare workers and they have worked without hesitation, but with much caution to limit their family’s risk of COVID-19. Their friends and family are so proud of how brave and dedicated they have been throughout these challenging times.

Chautauqua Adult Day Services provides programs for elderly residents, allowing them to stay in their homes longer and providing a break for their caregivers. Their staff have continued working on a daily basis to ensure the personal, physical, and social needs of participants are being met. In addition to developing new safety protocols, the Chautauqua Adult Day Services team had to create totally new activities and nutrition program that was in compliance with all safety guidelines. Without their dedication, there would have been a major void in these seniors’ lives. The Chautauqua Adult Day Services staff truly care about the lives of the elderly they serve and they returned to work inspired and on a mission to keep the program alive and continue to be able to provide the care needed for it participants and the caregivers who need a break from caring for a loved one.

To view COVID-19 Heroes videos, visit To nominate an individual to be recognized, visit the COVID-19 informational page on the county website at, or the form directly at .