Boston Medal Day 2010

The department recognizes its members for acts of valor in 2010



The Board of Merit, consisting of the Fire Commissioner, Chief of Department and the Deputy Fire Chiefs, has considered all meritorious acts referred to it during the year 2010. After careful consideration and study, the Board submitted the following recommendations which are hereby approved by the Fire Commissioner:

Case of Fire Fighter Daniel D. Gomes, Training Division
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Daniel D. Gomes, Training Division, for his actions while off duty on May 8, 2010. While walking his dog in East Boston he witnessed a man walk up to another man and stab him in the chest. Fire Fighter Gomes immediately approached the knife wielding individual and told him to drop the knife as the suspect fled the scene. Fire Fighter Gomes realizing the victim had a serious stab wound, pulled the fire department call box, rendered first aid and kept the victim stable until the arrival of Boston Fire apparatus and Boston EMS. While monitoring the victim he watched where the assailant had fled and notified police. Boston Police were able to apprehend the suspect and identify him with the help of Fire Fighter Gomes. His quick action and intervention stopped the suspect from continuing the attack. Without any regard for his own safety and placing himself at extreme personal risk, Fire Fighter Gomes helped save the victim from more serious injuries or death. Because his actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Daniel Gomes, Training Division in General Order No. 15 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Fighter Daniel D. Gomes of Training Division be awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

Case of Fire Fighter Patrick F. Foley, Engine Company 21
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Patrick F. Foley, Engine Company 21, for his actions while off duty on February 27, 2010. He was on his way to work that morning when he observed a smoke condition in the area of Sumner Street, District 7. Fire Fighter Foley responded to the location and called the Fire Alarm Office to report a fire in progress where box 1833 was transmitted. He then proceeded to enter the building where he banged on doors to alert the occupants of the fire. Fire Fighter Foley’s actions were conducted under unusual risk and before the arrival of companies. His actions allowed residents to quickly evacuate the building and minimize the life hazard involved. The Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Foley, Engine Company 21 in General Order No. 20 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Fighter Patrick F. Foley of Engine Company 21 be awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

Case of Fire Fighter Tyrone Marshall, Engine Company 21
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Tyrone Marshall, Engine Company 17, for his actions while off duty on July 4, 2010. While on Tileston Road in District 12, Fire Fighter Marshall observed a gas grill fail and the propane fed fire exploded against the rear of a single family residence. It was a small area congested with family and friends attending a Independence Day cookout. To further complicate the incident the nearby garden hose was exposed to the extending flames.

Fire Fighter Marshall dressed only in shorts and a tee shirt and equipped with a fire extinguisher, knocked down the fire around the burning propane cylinder. He also cooled down the exposed siding on the home long enough to delay the burning process until the arrival of apparatus. As this was occurring a large multiple alarm fire had just been struck for a housing complex in nearby Hyde Park which had committed all surrounding BFD resources. While putting himself at significant risk, Fire Fighter Marshall’s initiative and quick aggressive actions prevented a major fire to his neighbor’s home. Because his actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Tyrone Marshall, Engine Company 21 in General Order No. 21 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Fighter Tyrone Marshall of Engine Company 17 be awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

Case of Fire Fighter Daniel J. Magoon, Engine Company 21
Case of Fire Fighter Edward A. Kelly, Tower Ladder 17

The Massachusetts Iraq and Afghanistan Fallen Heroes Memorial Fund was founded in 2010, to build a permanent memorial to the sons and daughters of Massachusetts who have given their lives in service to our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan. Firefighter Daniel J. Magoon E Company 21 and Firefighter Edward A. Kelly Tower Ladder17, dedicated hundreds of hours of personal time helping to build the organization and coordinate its first major event. The memorial team would not have become what it has without the leadership and guidance of Firefighter Edward A. Kelly and Firefighter Daniel J. Magoon during its critical initial forming stages. Firefighter Magoon’s (Treasurer of Organization) and Kelly’s (Board of Directors) selfless service, leadership, and organizational abilities are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Fire service, and reflect great credit upon himself, Boston Firefighters, and the Boston Fire Department.

The Board recommends that Fire Fighter Magoon of Engine Company 21 and Fire Fighter Edward Kelly, Tower Ladder 17 be awarded the Distinguished Service Award.

Case of Fire Lieutenant John F. McDonald, Ladder Company 18
Case of Fire Fighter John J Foley, Ladder Company 18
Case of Fire Fighter John P. Cavaleri, Ladder Company 18
Case of Fire Fighter Jeffrey R. Lynch, Ladder Company 18

The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend the members of Ladder Company 18 for their actions on May 25, 2010. On that day Ladder Company 18 was dispatched to 28 Gavin Way, District 6, for a medical call involving a person lying in the street. Upon arrival they found a female victim suffering from numerous stab wounds and bleeding profusely. As the members worked feverously to control the bleeding, neighbors reported that behind the building there was an apartment on fire and two children were missing. As Boston EMS arrived, the members of Ladder Company 18 donned their protective equipment and ran to the fire building. Upon arrival at 21 Gavin Way, the members were confronted by Boston and State Police with weapons drawn. They were pointed at a person standing on the second floor porch with a heavy smoke condition billowing from the apartment behind him. Police reported that the suspect was armed and dangerous. After notifying Fire Alarm of the situation and before the arrival of apparatus, the members entered the fire building to conduct a primary search for victims. As conditions within the building deteriorated rapidly, Fire Fighter John Cavaleri used a water extinguisher in a futile attempt to knock down the fire. Under zero visibility Fire Lieutenant McDonald realizing the back bedroom was about to flash over ordered Fire Fighters Lynch and Foley to leave and search for occupants on the third floor, none were found. Because of the suspect’s irrational behavior, Ladder Company 18 was ordered out of the building by the District 6 commander. Upon exiting the fire building, members were being struck by objects being thrown at them by the suspect from an adjacent third floor balcony. The suspect ran in and out of the apartment yelling and screaming at the police and arriving companies. He would eventually climb over the railing and jump to his death. Under chaotic conditions, the members of Ladder Company 18 exposed themselves to great personal risk, before ventilation had taken place and without the benefit of a charged line. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Lieutenant John F. McDonald, Fire Fighter John J. Foley, Fire Fighter John P. Cavaleri and Fire Fighter Jeffrey R. Lynch of Ladder Company 18 in General Order No. 3 of 2011.

The Board recommends that the names of Fire Lieutenant John F. McDonald, Fire Fighter John J. Foley, Fire Fighter John P. Cavaleri and Fire Fighter Jeffrey R. Lynch of Ladder Company 18 be placed on the Roll of Merit.

“Man Dies After Jump from Balcony in Boston” NECN

Case of Fire Fighter Mark M. Folan, Ladder Company 15
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Mark M. Folan, Ladder Company 15, for his actions during a water incident in the Charles River. In the early hours of August 20, 2010 fire companies were dispatched to the mid point of the Mass. Ave. Bridge for two persons in the Charles River. Upon arrival, Fire Fighter Folan immediately suited up in the survival suit. At great personal risk to Fire Fighter Folan, members of Engine Company 33 and Ladder Company 15 lowered him, by rope, from the top of the bridge to the river below. Once in the water, he swam over to the two victims and stabilized them prior to the the rescue boats arriving. Because of his quick actions, teamwork and professionalism during a nighttime water rescue, he helped save the two victims from serious injury or death. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Mark Folan Engine Company 15 in General Order No. 29 of 2010.

The Board recommends that the name of Fire Fighter Mark M. Folan, Ladder Company 15 be placed on the Roll of Merit.

Case of Fire Fighter Jeffery K. Scott, Ladder Company 7

The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Jeffrey K. Scott, Ladder Company 7, for his actions on February 27, 2010. On that morning, box 1833 was struck for a building fire in a garden style apartment complex at 40 Sumner Street, District 7. After forcing open the steel reinforced door, Ladder Company 7 members entered and split up to begin their primary search of the apartment. Fire Fighter Scott proceeded to crawl down the hallway through the high heat and heavy smoke and past the room on fire. He then entered a bathroom and began to vent a window when he noticed a resident unresponsive on the floor. He proceeded to lift the victim and carry her out of the bathroom, down the hallway and into the public hallway where other members started resuscitation efforts. Fire Fighter Scott while exposing himself to great personal risk under high heat and smoke conditions, helped to save the victim from more serious injuries. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Jeffrey Scott, Ladder Company 7 in General Order No. 20 of 2010.

The Board recommends that the name of Fire Fighter Jeffrey Scott, Ladder Company 7 be placed on the Roll of Merit.

Case of Fire Fighter Robert J. Gover, Engine Company 50
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Robert J. Gover, Engine Company 50, for his actions while off duty on April 8, 2010. On that day Fire Fighter Gover was commuting to work through the City of Malden, when he noticed a smoke condition in the area of 15 Charles Place. Pulling his vehicle over he found a 2 1/2 story dwelling with heavy fire showing from all floors at the front of the building. After being informed there was a person trapped, and hearing screams for help, he entered the rear entrance to begin a search of the fire building prior to the arrival of the Malden Fire Department. Fire Fighter Gover without protective clothing and S.C.B.A. climbed the stairs to the third floor. He proceeded past the advancing fire under heavy smoke conditions and located an adult male who was confused and disoriented. He then guided the victim down the stairs to the safety of the street and released him to the Malden Fire Department. Fire Fighter Gover then assisted Malden fire fighters in advancing a 2 ˝” handline to the fire building and then helped place a 35’ ground ladder to the third floor. Fire Fighter Gover exposed himself to great personal risk during a rapidly moving fire, prior to hose line operations and before ventilation took place. His initiative and fast actions helped to save the victim from more serious injuries or death. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Robert J. Gover, Engine Company 50 in General Order No. 14 of 2010.

The Board recommends that the name of Fire Fighter Robert J. Gover, Engine Company 50 be placed on the Roll of Merit.

“Quick Thinking Boston Firefighter Saves Malden Man”, Boston Herald

E.H. Hommel M.D. Medal of Honor, Fire Lieutenant Robert J. Counihan, Ladder Company 24
During the early morning hours on July 14, 2011 box 1361 was struck for a building fire at 51 Phillips Street in District 3. Upon arrival, members were alerted by a neighbor that there was a fire on the second floor, and that people might be trapped inside the apartment. While performing a primary search of the floor, Lieutenant Counihan heard cries from the rear of the apartment. Proceeding down the hallway through heavy smoke conditions and passing the room on fire he located the victim and dragged her back down the hallway. There he was assisted by two other members from his company who removed the victim from the building and treated her for extensive burns until the arrival of Boston EMS. The quick actions of Fire Lieutenant Counihan during this rescue exposed himself to great personal risk before ventilation and charged lines were in place. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Lieutenant Robert J. Counihan, Ladder Company 24 in General Order No. 26 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Lieutenant Robert Counihan Jr. of Ladder Company 24 be awarded the E.H. Hommel M.D. Medal of Honor

Patrick J. Kennedy Model of Honor, Fire Fighter Joseph Spinale, Ladder Company 21
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Joseph W. Spinale, Ladder Company 21, for his actions on May 29, 2010. On that day, box 6142 was struck for a building fire at 61 Gove Street in District 1. First companies reported smoke showing. On arrival Ladder Company 21 was informed of a person trapped on the third floor. After sizing up the situation, Fire Fighter Spinale and another member immediately ascended the rear fire escape to the third floor and vented a window to gain access. Without the benefit of a charged line they entered the window in an attempt to search for victims but were driven back by the intense heat and smoke. A bulging rear wall and a weakened fire escape added to the severe fire conditions. Fire Fighter Spinale and the other member made a second entry and found a burned unconscious victim inside a bedroom. They removed her to the rear fire escape and awaiting fire fighters. They again reentered the building to continue their search and found no other victims. Without regard for his own safety and under extreme personal risk, Fire Fighter Spinale helped save the victim from more serious injuries or possible death. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Joseph Spinale, Ladder Company 21 in General Order No. 23 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Fighter Spinale of Ladder Company 21 be awarded Patrick J. Kennedy Model of Honor

Walter Scott Medal of Valor, Fire Captain Carlo Nieves, Ladder Company 21
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Captain Carlos Nieves, Ladder Company 21, for his actions on May 29, 2010. On that day, box 6142 was struck for a building fire at 61 Gove Street in District 1. First companies reported smoke showing. On arrival Ladder Company 21 was informed of a person trapped on the third floor. After sizing up the situation, Fire Captain Nieves and another member immediately ascended the rear fire escape to the third floor and vented a window to gain access. Without the benefit of a charged line they entered the window in an attempt to search for victims but were driven back by the intense heat and smoke. A bulging rear wall and a weakened fire escape added to the severe fire conditions. Captain Nieves and the other member made a second entry and found a burned unconscious victim inside a bedroom. They removed her to the rear fire escape and awaiting fire fighters. They again reentered the building to continue their search and found no other victims. Without regard for his own safety and under extreme personal risk, Fire Captain Nieves helped save the victim from more serious injuries or possible death. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Captain Carlo Nieves, Ladder Company 21 in General Order No. 23 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Captain Carlo Nieves, of Ladder Company 21 be awarded Walter Scott Medal of Valor.

“Two Killed in East Boston Fire” NECN
“2 Die in East Boston Fire Despite Valiant Effort by Boston Firefighters” Picture Boston

Case of John E. Fitzgerald Medal of Most Meritorious Act, Phillip J. Cetrino, Rescue Company 1
The Fire Commissioner is pleased to commend Fire Fighter Phillip J. Cetrino, Rescue Company 1, for his actions on August 30, 2010. Rescue Company 1 was dispatched for a report of a jumper at 1999 Commonwealth Ave. District 11. Upon arrival they were notified of a highly distraught and agitated woman standing on the six floor window ledge. After making their way to the roof, Rescue 1 members and Fire Fighter Cetrino prepared for a high angle rescue. With safety harness and ropes attached he placed himself as close to the edge of the roof as possible without drawing attention from the agitated woman. After conferring with a Boston Police negotiator it was decided that they would try to lure the woman from the window ledge or just inside the room. Boston Police negotiators were able to talk her off the window ledge as Fire Fighter Cetrino rappelled into the window, knocking the woman down. She was armed with a scalpel and a struggle ensued where he was able to prevent the woman from harming herself and him. The Boston Police rapidly entered the apartment and subdued the screaming woman. Fire Fighter Cetrino placed himself at extreme personal risk rappel from the roof of a six story building, in total darkness, and with limited anchor points. Moreover, Fire Fighter Cetrino, while being tethered to ropes that limited his movements, was able to save the life of a very distraught woman armed with a dangerous weapon. He and the other members who participated in this highly charged incident demonstrated the professionalism and extensive training of the members of the Boston Fire Department. Because these actions were performed at great personal risk, the Fire Commissioner highly commended Fire Fighter Phillip Cetrino, Ladder Company 21 in General Order No. 29 of 2010.

The Board recommends that Fire Fighter Phillip J. Cetrino of Rescue Company 1 be awarded John E. Fitzgerald Medal of Most Meritorious Act

“Jakes Save Hub Jumper” Boston Herald


Source Boston Fire Department
John E. Fitzgerald medal photo courtesy of Boston Fire Historical Society




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