Thursday, May 22, 2014

Brighton, NY Police officers Mike Romach, and Brad Steve Pull Elderly Woman From Burning Home

The double house at 2111 Monroe Avenue, boarded up.
Photo by Davy V.
By Davy V.

As a result of my work as an activist exposing police misconduct and corruption, I've been labeled a lot of things.

Perhaps the most common one though has been cop hater.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Although hate is a very strong word, and one I don't like to use, if there's anything I 'hate' it's rogue, dirty cops.

Cops who misuse and abuse their power and authority.

Cops who violate their sworn oath to protect, serve, and uphold the United States Constitution.

Cops who give good cops a bad name.

This piece however, is not about rogue cops.

It's about two Brighton, NY Police officers.

Mike Romach, and Brad Steve, and their actions on Friday May 16, 2014, which saved the lives of an elderly woman.

Here's the story.

Around 1:00 a.m., Brighton Police officer Mike Romach received a 911 dispatch call for a house fire at 2111 Monroe Avenue, across from a CVS Pharmacy.

It just so happened that officer Romach was right in front of the double house.

"Simultaneously, as the call came in, I just happened to be right there," Romach told me, adding "And I could see heavy smoke coming from the house."

Officer Brad Steve also arrived.

Both officers, who were first on the scene, before any fire or ambulance crews, then noticed a woman standing in the front door, overwhelmed by the smoke.

Using quick thinking, officer Mike Romach and Brad Steve got the woman, who was on oxygen, away from the house.

Officer Romach then asked the woman if there was anyone else inside the burning home.

"She told us that her elderly mother was still inside, as well as a male," Romach said.

Officers Romach and Steve then smashed all the windows on the first floor of the home, as they called out loud for the woman, and pulled the elderly woman out of the burning home through one of the windows they had broken out.

The man who was also in the house made it out safely on his own.

By the time fire and EMS arrived on the scene, everyone was safe.

The family was taken to String Hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.

This story doesn't end here.

I first heard of the heroic actions of officers Mike Romach and Braad Steve from an employee of a 7 Eleven store in Brighton, NY.

I then contacted Brighton Police, but after several messages, no one ever got back to me.

No surprise there.

Every time I have tried to highlight a positive law enforcement story, I get resistance, from higher ups in police departments.

In this case it was no different.

But I didn't give up.

Using the same relentless passion my dad, the late Mario Vara instilled in me, I knew I wanted to tell this story.

A story which Rochester, NY news media never told.

Rochester's CBS affiliate, News 8 ran a 10 second piece on their newscast mentioning the fire, but made absolutely no mention of officer Mike Romach and Brad Steve's life saving actions.


One word immediately came to my mind when talking to officer Mike Romach.


When I told him no one ever retuned my calls when I tried contacting one of his superiors to learn more of the incident for this story, officer Romach didn't understand why I wanted to write anything in the first place.

"I was just doing my job," said Romach.

"It's what we do."

I explained to officer Romach why the story of him and officer Steve was so important to me.

I write about rogue, dirty cops.

Cops who violate their sworn oath to protect and serve.

Cops who racially profile innocent minorities.

Cops who abuse innocent citizens and violate their rights.

Cops who believe they are above the law.

I told officer Romach that people, including those dirty cops I write about, need to be reminded what that badge and uniform represent.

They need to be reminded what the oath they took to protect and serve really means, and they need to be reminded of the level of trust and responsibility that was entrusted upon them when they took that sworn oath to protect and serve.

And that's why I had to tell this story.

You see, Friday morning, Brighton, NY Police officers Mike Romach, and Brad Steve went above and beyond protecting and serving.

They saved a woman's life.

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