June 7, 2017
On Wednesday, June 7th, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro presided at FDNY’s 148th annual Medal Day Ceremony at City Hall.
62 members of the Department, including, Firefighters, Paramedics, EMTs, Fire Marshals, and Officers received medals for their life-saving work in the last year.
Mayor de Blasio highlighted how the FDNY is no greater example of courage and sacrifice. "Today, we honor 62 heroes who came to rescue in most dire circumstances - their heroic acts are extraordinary, yet reflect the dangerous reality members face every day," said Mayor de Blasio.
"Today, we celebrate New York's Bravest and we gather and honor the most remarkable of those life-saving rescues, acts of valor which represent the very greatest traditions of our Department," said Commissioner Nigro. "I am proud of each of you for your remarkable acts of bravery - and thank you for going above and beyond in keeping our citizens safe."
Firefighter James P. Lee of Rescue Company 1 received the James Gordon Bennett Medal and NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Medal for deploying a risky and rare roof-rope rescue technique to rescue a trapped victim in a multiple dwelling fire in October 2016. In this rescue effort, Firefighter Andrew Hawkins of Ladder Company 43 will be awarded the Emily Trevor/Mary B. Warren Medal; and Firefighter William M. McGarry of Ladder Company 26; will be awarded the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums Medal. In the same month of this rescue, Mayor de Blasio personally thanked the members at the quarters of Engine 53 and Ladder 43.
Reflecting on his medals and his rescue, Firefighter Lee said, "today is a great day for our families and the companies but also a great day for the Department and especially the kids. The kids love the ceremony and they look up to us."
Firefighter Lee also highlighted the teamwork in the rescue and highlighted the rigorous training members go through at the Fire Academy. "We signed up to do a job, we just did it and did it well," said Firefighter Lee.
EMT Ryan Gref received the Christopher J. Prescott Medal for deescalating an altercation at a restaurant – EMT Gref disarmed and subdued an individual wielding two large knives – meanwhile, EMT Gref’s partner Bruce Fonseca radioed for emergency assistance and began providing medical treatment to the victim. EMT Gref stated – “we both have very outstanding training from the Fire Department, I really did not have too much time to think, you just have to act, so I acted in the best way I could.”
Firefighter Sean T. Cosgrove received the Commissioner Edward Thompson Medal for locating and saving Claudia Hernandez – a victim of a fire in a sixth floor apartment in Queens. Approximately, a month after the fire, Firefighter Cosgrove was reunited with Ms. Hernandez who kindly thanked all the members involved in responding to the incident and saving her life.
FDNY Ladder 28 members Captain John P. Gormley, Firefighter Damon S. Alston, Firefighter Daniel M. Bellew, Firefighter Joseph B. McPartland, Firefighter Thomas K. Newbert, and Firefighter John P. Salva of Ladder Company 28 of Manhattan received the World Trade Center Memorial Medal for their bravery in rescuing four patients and assisting many others at a fire on January 18th.
For a full backgrounds and list of 2017 Medal Day recipients, click here.
For the recorded livestream of Medal Day, click here.
For photos of the ceremony, click here.