Firefighter of the Year Award Recipients List (2005)

Distinguished Service Award

Boston Fire Department

Lieutenant Richard L. Powers

The late Fire Lieutenant Richard L. Powers dedicated his career to the promotion of the Boston Fire Department's image and his ardent interest in singing. Eight years ago, Fire Lt. Powers co-founded the Fire Department's A Capella Singers. This quartet performed the National Anthem for the Boston Red Sox, for the Celtics, at charity events and at the White House for President George W. Bush. Lieutenant Powers generously gave his off-duty time in service to his neighbors, church, charities and fellow firefighters.

Community Service Award
Boston Fire Department

Lieutenant Irene Foley

Since starting with the Special Occupancy Unit, Lt. Foley has installed 100 hearing impaired smoke detectors and 2,000 smoke detectors for Boston's seniors. She also has conducted fire safety training for hearing impaired adults and children, as well as seniors throughout the Boston area. Lt. Foley has given outstanding service to those at-risk populations in the Boston area.

Oxford Fire Department

Captain Stephen Coleman

For more than eight years, Captain Stephen Coleman has been responsible for creating, coordinating and instructing the Mass. Fire District 7 Recruit Training Program. The program has become an acknowledged success because of the efforts of Capt. Coleman. The courses created by Capt. Coleman far exceeded the level of training that departments it served were able to provide individually. Capt. Coleman is devoted to preparing the next generation of fire service representatives.

Group Awards for Meritorious Conduct
Burlington Fire Department

Group 2

In the early hours of New Year's Day 2005, the Burlington Fire Dept. Group 2 was dispatched to a house fire. Citizens outside reported an elderly male trapped inside the burning building. Two Search & Rescue teams entered the building, while their fellow firefighters secured their egress from the building. The situation was complicated further when the live electrical services for house fell across the attack hose line. Within minutes, the search and rescue teams found and removed the unconscious elderly man, who was severely injured from heat and smoke inhalation. Group 2 firefighters then re-entered the building and extinguished the fire with the help of mutual aid companies. The elderly victim and another occupant were transported to the hospital. Two firefighters received minor injuries while attempting the Search & Rescue. Members of the Braintree Fire Department are recognized for their extraordinary performance and courage in dangerous conditions

North Andover Fire Department

Unit 3

At 12:00 a.m. the morning of April 17, 2005, a cellular 911 call was received. The units discovered a man half out of a window approximately 15 ft. from the ground. The man called for help and asked for someone to rescue his mother from the second floor. Firefighters raised a ground ladder and brought the man down to safety. Simultaneously, extinguishment and Search & Rescue began. During the search, the battery of the Thermal Imaging Camera failed and crews utilized their training to locate an unconscious woman on the second floor. The 61-year old victim was taken to the hospital, where she died three days later. This was the first death in a structure fire in North Andover in over 23 years. These firefighters worked professionally in a stressful and environmentally hostile environment.
Yarmouth and Hyannis Fire Departments

Yarmouth and Hyannis Fire Departments

The evening of March 11, 2005, an ambulance manned by Orleans Firefighters Michael Gould and Kevin DeLude was transporting an 84-year-old man to the hospital. While en route, a F350 dump truck, driven by a drunk driver and carrying his 9-year-old daughter, crossed the centerline and hit the ambulance head on. The crash ejected the patient from his stretcher, breaking his neck. Firefighter DeLude, in the rear with the patient, suffered serious head and shoulder injuries. Firefighter Gould suffered severe leg and internal injuries and was pinned in the wreckage. The scene was covered in fuel from the dump truck's ruptured gas tank. Responding rescuers carefully extricated Firefighter Gould from the wreckage over the course of an hour and a half and transported all five patients to area hospitals. Firefighter Gould is currently undergoing physical therapy following reconstructive surgery of his leg. The Yarmouth and Hyannis Fire departments successfully extricated, treated and transported all five victims under dangerous and stressful conditions.

Braintree Fire Department, Group 1
Quincy Fire Department
Boston Fire Department
FEMA Region I Urban Search and Rescue Task Force

Braintree Fire Department, Group 1
Quincy Fire Department
Boston Fire Department
FEMA Region I Urban Search and Rescue Task Force

On January 26, 2005, 180-foot crane way collapsed onto a large steel mill in the Quincy-Braintree Shipyard. 16-18 workers were in the structure at the time of the collapse. Members of Braintree and Quincy Fire Departments responded. Under confusing and snowy conditions, they quickly set up a Command Post, triaged victims and began rescue operations. Even though the structure was unstable, with more of the crane way leaning over the building, the members working that day assisted many victims who were trapped in rubble pile. With two victims unaccounted for, the FEMA Region I Urban Search and Rescue Task Force was called to the scene and assisted with the safe recovery of two deceased victims.

Individual awards for meritorious conduct
Boston Fire Department

Lieutenant Donald Doenges

On September 20, 2004, Engine Company 50 responded to the rear of 333 terminal Street for a report of a man in the water. Upon arrival, members observed a man, in obvious distress, about thirty yards from the seawall. Without hesitation, Fire Lt. Donald Doenges swam out the victim and pulled him toward the shore where he and the other members of Engine 50 then lifted him onto the seawall. Because this rescue was performed without knowledge of any hidden obstructions, depth of the water or presence of a dangerous current, Fire Lt. Doenges placed himself at great personal risk. Lt. Doenges acted without hesitation and with no regard to his personal safety.

Boston Fire Department

Lieutenant Robert Moriarty

On September 23, 2005, Engine Company 33 and Ladder Company 15 were dispatched to the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge to assist a woman who was in water up to her neck and clutching to a piling at the base of the bridge. While a member of Ladder Company 15 prepared to don a survival suit the woman began shouting that she could not hold on any longer. At that moment, Lt. Moriarty was lowered by rope approximately 35 feet to the river. He was then able to secure the woman until the arrival of a State Police boat. During the rescue, Lt. Moriarty suffered abrasions to his arm and hand and ingested river water. This rescue was performed at great personal risk, without the benefit of a survival suit.

Chelmsford Fire Department

Firefighter John Kivlin

The evening of October 11, 2004, Firefighter Kivlin's engine responded to a two-alarm fire at 32-unit elderly housing building. Entering the building with Capt. Durkin, Firefighter Kivlin found the involved unit on the first floor. While waiting for his Captain to return with a hose line, Firefighter Kivlin heard noise from the unit and entered encountering heavy smoke and extremely high heat. Inside, he found a semi-conscious, 95-year-old woman and pulled her out of the unit. Back in the main hallway, he handed the victim to responding firefighters and proceeded to complete the search and extinguish the fire with his company. FF Kivlin put himself in extreme danger by entering a fire-involved unit alone, thereby giving the victim the best chance of survival.

Chelmsford Fire Department

Captain James Durkin and Firefighters Gary Ryan, Don Petterson, William Bennett, and Michael Young

Early in the morning of June 18, 2005, these firefighters responded to a report of a car accident. On arriving, they found a vehicle on fire and severely damage from a head on collision with a tree. A young man remained trapped in the vehicle. Firefighters Ryan and Young quickly knocked down the fire with an attack line. While Firefighters Petterson and Bennett set up the Hurst Tool to assist the victim, Capt. Durkin crawled into the car and started first aid. The door was forced open with the "Jaws" and the victim extricated on a full board. The victim was transported by ambulance to the hospital with two firefighters on board. These firefighters put themselves at extreme risk to save this young man's life.

Falmouth Fire-Rescue Department

Captain James R. Marshall, Firefighters Melvin Trott, and Todd Taylor

On May 14, 2005, a 911 call was received from Salt Sea Apartments, an assisted living complex for elderly residents. Capt. Marshall was first to arrive on the scene. Due to the immediacy of the situation, Capt. Marshall rushed into the smoke-filled apartment without delaying to put on his breathing apparatus. Capt. Marshall found the sole occupant in the rear of the apartment and attempted to pull her through the apartment to safety. Due to the victim's large size, Capt. Marshall was unable to carry her by himself. At this time, Lt. Trott and Firefighter Taylor arrived on scene to assist Capt. Marshall. Lt. Trott assisted Capt. Marshal with removing the victim from the building, while Firefighter Taylor kept the attack line between the rescuers and the fire as a protection line. Their heroic actions saved the victim without regard for their own safety.

Lexington Fire Department,
Group C

Captain Arthur Raithel, Lieutenant Robert Cunha, Firefighters Donald Chisholm, and Dispatcher David Spinosa

On December 24, 2005, Group C responded to the report of a fire on Tufts Road. Upon arrival, Captain Raithel discovered smoke coming from the eaves of the building and visible fire in the rear. Having been notified of a potential victim still inside the house, the captain order attack lines through the front door. Searching as they went, Lt. Cunha and Firefighter Chisholm encountered heavy smoke and heat as they advanced on the fire. This crew located Margaret Traverse and removed her from the residence. Their effective and professional operation under dangerous conditions rescued the victim from life threatening situation.

Northampton Fire Department

Capt. Jon Davine, Firefighter Scott Flynn and Firefighters/EMTs Jennifer Brin and David Neal

The evening of February 25, 2005, a resident called 911 reporting that her couch was on fire and that flames were quickly spreading to nearby window treatments. Capt. Davine, Firefighter Flynn and Firefighter/EMT David Neal were among the first to arrive on scene. Confronted with conflicting reports of a victim still inside the house, Captain Davine assumed command and with Firefighters Flynn and Neal advanced an attack line through a side door. The men knocked down the flames in the living room and commenced a search. They discovered an unconscious victim on the floor of a back bedroom and in cardiac arrest. The men then carried the victim from her home. Once outside, Firefighter/EMT Brin began CPR, assisted by other members of her attack crew. Paramedics then transported the victim to the hospital for further treatment. The quick action of these firefighters saved the life of a victim in cardiac arrest.

Fire Marshal's Special Appreciation Award

James C. Gahan and Albert Gray

These two fathers lost their sons in The Station nightclub fire are being honored for their work to promote changes in Massachusetts fire safety laws and regulations. They both served on the Secretary's Task Force on Fire and Building Safety whose more than 30 recommendations led to changes in fire and building codes and the sweeping legislation - The Massachusetts Fire Safety Act - passed in August 2004. The cornerstone of this legislation is requiring sprinklers in nightclubs.

Medals of Valor
Athol Fire Department

Firefighter Bruce G. Dubrule, Jr.

Firefighter Dubrule was one of the two on-duty personnel responding on the first alarm assignment. On arrival, a woman was heard screaming for help from the first floor apartment located adjacent to the apartment that was fully engulfed in flames. Police attempted to enter the apartment, but could not because of the smoke. Firefighter Dubrule was one of the first firefighters fitted with a self-contained breathing apparatus. When ordered, he entered the apartment, encountering thick black smoke that extended to the floor. Firefighter Dubrule found the woman on the floor next to her wheelchair. With no visibility, he maneuvered around several obstacles and carried her out by himself to medical personnel. While conscious and alert when transported to the hospital, the victim died several days later. FF Dubrule took quick action at extreme risk to his own life that prevented the victim from dying at the scene.

Beverly Fire Department

Captain William Petrosino and Firefighters Todd Koen & Brian Miller

Beverly Engine 1 responded to a mutual aid call from Salem to a Three-Alarm fire on Bayview Ave. Upon arrival, two structures were seen to be heavily involved. While battling the fire on the third floor of one structure, Capt. Petrosino and Firefighters Koen and Miller heard a mayday broadcast by a downed Salem firefighter who was running out of air. The three men backed down the stairs to the second floor where they located the trapped firefighter. They removed the victim to a stairwell, where they met other Salem crews. The victim was removed to the exterior, where he was treated and remained on duty. The members of Beverly Engine 1 came to the aid of a fellow firefighter in dire need, while combating a serious fire.

Boston Fire Department

Fire Lieutenant Michael Mullen

The night of June 24, 2004, a young man arrived at the firehouse claiming that he had been assaulted by a group of young men who were still chasing him. As he spoke to members of the fire station, four of his alleged pursuers arrived at the scene. An additional two men appeared to support the first individual. These men each carried knives over 9 inches in length. This intense scene escalated further when two carloads of men appeared to support the alleged pursuers. The incident was quickly becoming dangerous. At this point, a firefighter trapped between the station and the armed men, disarmed the two knife wielding men with a broom handle. To prevent any further escalation, Fire Lt. Mullen placed himself directly between the two groups of men and ordered them to disperse, which they did. Lt Mullen's quick actions prevented serious injury to a fellow firefighter and to the civilians involved in the altercation.

Boston Fire Department

Fire Lieutenant Joseph R. Wilson

The night of January 27, 2005, Engine Company 5 responded to a fire in a three-story wood frame building on Chelsea Street. With no visible fire or smoke showing, Lt. Wilson ordered an attack line run while he went to the rear of the building to investigate. At the rear of the building, Lt. Wilson heard cries for help in basement. Lt. Wilson forced open a door and encountered high heat and heavy smoke. Donning his facemask, he crawled into the building and followed the cries. Despite the heavy smoke, he located the female victim and, with great difficulty, removed her from the building. This rescue was performed at great personal risk before ventilation was made and without benefit of a charged line. Lt. Wilson is recognized for his courageous action and disregard for his personal safety.

Holbrook Fire Department

Firefighter James Brown, Jr.

The evening of December 27, 2004, the Holbrook Fire Department received a Central Station alarm for a house on Roseen Road. The weather was below freezing and creating substantial snow and slippery conditions. On arrival, the crews observed light smoke emanating from the house. It was reported that an elderly female might be inside the residence. When the door was forced, fire was observed along the rear kitchen and dining area of the home. At this time, Firefighter Brown saw an obviously disoriented and distraught occupant approximately 15-feet from front the door. While other firefighters on scene attempted to establish a hose line, Firefighter Brown entered the burning structure and, without hesitation, forcibly moved the female to the front door, from where he was assisted with removing the victim to the front yard. Firefighter Brown and the others on scene continued to battle a rapidly spreading fire, extreme heat and deteriorating weather conditions. He acted to save the life of a victim, with no regard for his own safety.

Sandwich Fire Department

Captain James B. Huska and Firefighters Robert J. George and Jason J. Viveiros

On the afternoon of June 22, 2005, these members of the Sandwich Fire Department were off-duty attending a Tweeter Center concert. They heard a loud noise that sounded like an explosion in the parking lot. When the three men proceeded toward the incident, they saw a woman on fire with flames erupting around her from what appeared to be a flammable liquid. Captain Huska and Firefighter George, with the help of some bystanders, were able to get a towel on her back and using large amounts of water, finally put out the flames. Once the fire was knocked down, it became apparent that there were two other victims. One man had burns to his chest and face, and the other had burns to his arms. While Captain Huska attended to the badly burned woman, Firefighters George and Viveiros assisted the other two patients, providing what care they could until the Mansfield Fire/EMS unit arrived. Their quick actions undoubtedly saved the seriously injured woman's life and prevented further injury to the victims and bystanders.

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