We are pleased to announce the newest honorees in our Firehouse® Magazine Heroism & Community Service Awards program and take pride in highlighting the bravery of these outstanding individuals. We recognize the judges: Chief Mark McLees of the Syracuse, NY, Fire Department; Chief Edward...
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We are pleased to announce the newest honorees in our Firehouse® Magazine Heroism & Community Service Awards program and take pride in highlighting the bravery of these outstanding individuals. We recognize the judges: Chief Mark McLees of the Syracuse, NY, Fire Department; Chief Edward "Loy" Senter Jr. of Chesterfield County, VA, Fire and Emergency Medical Services; and Chief (ret.) Bruce Varner of the Santa Rosa, CA, Fire Department. We also thank retired FDNY Rescue 1 Firefighter Paul Hashagen, who administers the program.
Grand Prize Recipient
Firefighter/Paramedic Jeffrey Michael Novack Baltimore City, MD, Fire Department Truck Company 12
Just after 9 P.M. on April 7, 2010, a civilian ran into Truck Company 12 advising that his apartment was on fire next door. A box alarm was alerted for 3910 Liberty Heights Ave. The closest three engines were unavailable to respond. Truck 12 arrived within seconds, commanded by Acting Lieutenant Novack. He reported a three-story apartment building with fire showing from the second floor. Novack went to the front of the building, where he was met by a large group of civilians who told him there were still people inside the building on the third floor. The fire had already begun to extend into the hallway of the second floor as Novack made his way to the third floor. He located a semi-conscious, elderly female. He began to take her down the steps, shielding her body with his own, as they passed the fire on the second floor. He exited the building and turned her over to waiting paramedics.
Recognizing there were still people inside, Novack dashed back into the building. He went back to the third floor, past the now even larger fire on the second floor. Another firefighter followed him up to assist with the search. While searching the third floor, they found another civilian in a rear apartment. They assisted him to a window. The civilian began to panic and ran down the hall away from Novack and the other firefighter. The third floor was now well involved and the fire had extended into the apartment. Novack was trapped and surrounded by fire. He transmitted a Mayday on his radio. He began to search for a window, but now he was on fire, as was the entire room. He located a window and used his hook to knock it out. He then leaped out, head first, grasping onto the exterior sill with his hands. Units in the rear were deploying a ground ladder. Novack was clinging onto the sill with every last inch of energy he had left, but the fire was too hot and he could not hang on any longer.
Novack dropped three stories to a concrete well in the rear of the building. Members immediately tended to him and signaled for paramedics. He was admitted for more than two weeks with a broken hip, a broken elbow, and severe second-degree burns to his arms, wrists and fingers. The civilian made it to a side window, where a ground ladder was placed and he exited the building without injury. The civilian Novack first pulled out of the building was unconscious and transported to the burn center. She made a full recovery and was released shortly thereafter.
Acting Lieutenant Jeffrey Novack put the life of others in front of his own. Due to his actions, two civilians are alive today.
Firefighter Peter Demontreux FDNY Ladder Company 132
On Aug. 30, 2010, Ladder 132 responded first-due to an early-morning phone alarm reporting a structural fire. While enroute, dispatchers reported receiving reports of multiple trapped persons throughout the building. There was heavy fire at the front door, in the hallway and up the stairway up to the third floor preventing entry until a hoseline was in place. Firefighter Salzano, the Ladder 132 chauffeur, was setting up the aerial for a rescue of a man who was at the front window on the third floor with heavy smoke pushing all around him. Firefighter Demontreux, the outside vent man, climbed the aerial and pulled the man from the window. The man told him his friend was still inside the burning apartment. Demontreux searched the front room, but was forced back to the window because of the high heat and zero visibility. Firefighter Myers of Rescue 2 vented the front windows.