Seattle Firefighters honored their own Heroes last week at the Annual Awards and Promotion Night held at City Hall. Mayor McGinn, City Council members and Seattle Fire and Police officials were there to help recognize individuals who were chosen by their peers for their exceptional contributions to the community, inspirational leadership abilities and their acts of heroism. Some of the highlights of the evening were the Unit Citation and the Special Recognition awards.
While on the way to a medic call, Paramedics John Gerarden and Shellie Miller noticed a 250 pound man dangling over a freeway overpass, held only by his wrists by bystanders. The paramedics immediately took action by reaching over the railing, grabbing hold of the victim and organizing the efforts of the bystanders to bring the man to safety. For this heroic act, Paramedics John Gerarden and Shellie Miller were awarded the Unit Citation.
Special Recognition was given to the Department’s first Community Fire Safety Advocates (CFSA). Ali Abdulahi, Kidane Hailu, Maymuna Haji-Eda, Michael Neguse and Mohammed Webo made the commitment to deliver fire safety messages to the East African communities after receiving training from the Department’s Public Educators. In just 6 months, the CFSA’s interacted with over 1300 community members. This successful program was developed after the tragic fire in Fremont last June that claimed five family members from the East African community.
In addition to these award recipients, the Seattle Fire Department also recognized the following:
- Chief of the Year: Assistant Chief Michael E. Walsh
- Officer of the Year: Lieutenant Brian Maier
- Firefighter of the Year: Firefighter Gib Mastri II
- Civilian Employee of the Year: Lisa Van Horn
- Community Service Award: Firefighter Julius Gibson
- Customer Service Award: Paul Kiminki
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Assistant Chief Susi Rosenthal
- Special Recognition: Mike Clark and Lee Kane with the Fire Buff Society
- Special Recognition: Galen Thomaier with the Last Resort Fire Department