Ohio Firefighters Honored for Saving Comrade


Two Hamilton firefighters were honored Wednesday for their role in the rescue of a fellow fireman.

Chris Gabbard, John Hansbauer and two other Hamilton firefighters were performing a water-rescue drill on April 16, 2007, on the Great Miami River when their boat flipped over in rapidly moving water near a low dam.

I ran down screaming, Get the boat, get the boat, and I look up and (saw) John floating down, (and) instinct was to run out and go get him, said Jason Cook during an interview last year.

Hansbauer and Gabbard suffered serious injuries, but both have made full recoveries.

On Wednesday, Cook and firefighter Joe Lorance were given the Shriner's Heroism Award for their actions that day.

"I don't like a lot of fame, I'm very shy and you come here and get really humbled by this and every time I see John, I just start to well up," Cook said.

"Jason Cook, he, I remember him saying, 'I'm not letting John go', and he went out there and he deserves this award more than I could express," Lorance said.

The firefighters also received personal awards from Hansbauer's daughters for saving their father.