All said they were just doing their jobs, and none expected to be lauded for their actions. That’s how Prince George’s County, Md. Firefighters George Flanagan, James Jiron and Bino Harris reacted to news they’d been selected by Firehouse Magazine for honors.
Firefighter George Flanagan
Flanagan was on duty in Hyattsville when his department was dispatched for an apartment fire.
He and the crew, that included volunteers, quickly learned that people may be still inside the third-story apartment.
A man was found just inside the door, and was rescued by firefighters.
Meanwhile, Flanagan continued their search. They found an unconscious four-year-old girl in a back bedroom.
Both victims were transported to the hospital.
“It was teamwork,” Flanagan said. “Everyone had a hand in the rescues.”
Firefighter James Jiron
In an unrelated incident, Firefighter James Jiron was at a Virginia playground with his family when his training and experience kicked in.
“I saw smoke coming from the back of a house,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t just a barbecue.”
He determined the back of the house was on fire, and instructed his mother-in-law to call 911. “I didn’t really know where I was,” he said with a laugh.
Jiron kicked in the front door and yelled “Fire Department.”
He then noticed a man on a nearby couch who was groggy. “He stood up, and then, immediately went back to sleep.”
About the same time, a teenager came down the stairs asking what was going on. He assisted his father out of the house.
Jiron went into the kitchen and used a table in an attempt to stop the fire from spreading. A local game warden showed up to help after hearing the call dispatched.
Jiron said he learned the next day the man works nightshift at a local poultry plant, and that’s why he was hard to wake.
“I was surprised to learn I was being honored,” he said.
Firefighter B.J. Harris
Another Prince Georges County firefighter, B.J. Harris, was recognized for his efforts involving a person in the water.
It was cold, and the shirtless victim was found standing in waist-deep water. His hands were at his side, and he wouldn’t communicate with either firefighters or police officers.
Harris, assigned to a special technical rescue team, determined police officers needed to be involved since they were unsure if the man was armed.
Harris and the officers donned wetsuits and proceeded with the rescue. The man was retrieved from the water without incident.