Firehouse Heroism and Community Service Awards: Top Winners

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 (ret.) of the...


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Lieutenant John Maes entered a back bedroom with zero visibility. Feeling his way, he found an unconscious 5-year-old girl who had suffered burns across 60% of her face and body. A large unconscious dog was located and removed to the exterior. Firefighters were able to provide two innocent children a chance at life – both children are out of the hospital despite their significant injuries.

 

15. Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Davidson

Orange County Fire Authority, CA, Station 20

On Jan. 20, 2012, at 12:15 P.M., Firefighter/Paramedic Robert Davidson was off duty and on Interstate 15 on the Cajon Pass in San Bernardino County. He and Firefighter Craig Ritter from Fountain Valley Fire Department saw an accident in which a vehicle hit a large roadway sign and burst into flames. Davidson pulled off the road 100 yards away.

As they were about to exit their vehicle to assist, another vehicle struck the back of Davidson’s car at a high rate of speed. The car was pushed 20 feet off the road. Davidson went to assess the driver in the first accident. Ritter tended to the driver of the vehicle that struck them. The driver of the first vehicle had significant injuries and was immovable due to passenger space intrusion and being pinned inside. There was active fire coming from the engine compartment and was lapping up and onto the trapped victim. Davidson broke the windows and yelled to others to get extinguishers from anywhere possible. Eight extinguishers were used prior to the fire department’s arrival. The victim received major burns in addition to injuries from the crash. As fire crews were performing extrication Davidson remained inside the vehicle to maintain cervical stabilization as needed.

 

16. Firefighter Christopher Lynch

FDNY Ladder 2

On Feb. 21, 2012, at 2:07 P.M., Ladder 2 responded first-due, normally third-due to a phone alarm for a fire in a 20-story fireproof multiple dwelling. Smoke was issuing from the second floor. A full residential high-rise assignment was requested. The ladder company entered the apartment under dense smoke and zero visibility. The fire had engulfed the living room and the heat increased dramatically. Access to most of the apartment was blocked by the extreme heat.

Firefighter Christopher Lynch ducked under the heat and flames and crawled past the fire to the only doorway that gave access to both bedrooms in the apartment. Lynch called for a 2½-inch handline. Lynch found an unconscious victim lying on the floor in the rear of the bedroom. Any escape via a rear window was impossible due to heavy-gauge window bars blocking the window. Lieutenant McCormack made his way to Lynch and helped carry the victim to the public hallway.

 

17. Firefighter Dale Fields

Chesterfield, VA, Dept. of Fire and EMS

On July 7, 2012, at 7:58 P.M., Firefighter Dale Fields was off duty and launched his personal fishing boat in the James River. He noticed a boat a quarter-mile mile away in the middle of the river on fire. A pleasure boat was heavily involved and free-floating in the river. Several individuals were swimming to shore. Two people were struggling to stay afloat.

Fields immediately entered the water secured the first victim and swam to his boat which began to float down the river holding the victim above the water line. Fields brought the victim to shore saving his life. Fields returned to the site. He could not find the second victim. He marked the spot where he last saw him using an anchor, rope and buoy. Still exhausted from the first rescue, Fields made four separate dives into the murky fast-moving water to locate the second victim. Unable to locate the person he returned to the boat landing. He gave information to the responding Scuba Team Rescue members. Fields placed his life on the line with no equipment or backup to save one person and numerous attempts to save another.

 

 

18. Paramedic In Charge John Wodzyisz

19. Fire Paramedic Sergio Moreno

Chicago, IL, FD

On May 24, 2012 at 6 P.M., Ambulance 56 responded to a person in the water. There were high winds and temperatures in the 50s at the Chicago Lake Front; waves were crashing the break wall. A crowd signaled the ambulance. The address was corrected and Ambulance 56 provided instructions to incoming units. Two civilians were hanging on the break wall about 70 to 80 feet out into Lake Michigan.