FDNY Firefighter Christopher Lynch said his training just kicked in when he entered a 20-story, apartment building with heavy smoke and fire on the second floor.
As part of FDNY’s Ladder 2 assignment , Lynch entered the building on Feb. 21, when to the fire floor and started doing a search a right-hand search and rescue. Within 10 seconds, he found a woman in her 60s unconscious on the floor.
Lynch is a 2013 recipient a Firehouse Heroism and Community Service Award.
“It’s not something you expect,” said Lynch, who has been on the department for eight years. “I came face to face with her and I called in a 10-45, that I had found a victim.”
The task of rescuing her was challenging as she was a larger woman and the apartment was filled with her personal affects. Lynch made it around the woman and grabbed the woman’s hands and arms while Lt. Charles McCormack grabbed the woman’s feet and carried the woman out of the apartment, down the stairs and to the EMS personnel on the scene.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s just a really good feeling. We had good team work. Me and my boss just picked her up and brought her out.”
While Lynch said he hadn’t been in a situation like the February fire, he has been in similar rescue situations with rescues and loss of life at the scene.
He was part of the crew who worked at the March 2008 New York Crane & Equipment collapse that killed seven people and injured 24 others.
But the fire in February was different. Lynch was able to save a victim from a fire and almost certain death.
When Lynch turned the woman over to EMS, she had a pulse and did survive. Lynch would have like to have the opportunity to meet the woman and learn about her long-term recovery.
But that doesn’t matter all that much to Lynch.
“It’s good enough for me that she’s still alive,” he said.