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2009 Courage & Valor Award

Wed, 22 Apr 2009|

Watch as Milwaukee Firefighter Anthony Rueda receives this year's Courage & Valor Award.



-- our privilege and -- to pay tribute to the memory of the fellow firefighters who lost on nine elevenths by presenting award. But memorialize. The legacy of deputy chief -- down. When the greatest fire service leaders of all time. Please join welcoming my boss the Chief Executive Officer -- corporation. Parent company -- fire engineering. Mr. Robert FB Ekene. Good morning. Ladies and gentlemen. I am again honored this year for the tenth year in a road to be here with you celebrating the life. And legacy. Chief ray -- And participating. In the 81 annual fire department instructors conference. This year marks. The thirteenth anniversary of fire engineering -- direction of the FDIC conference. On behalf of all of us at ten well and fire engineering. Welcome to the FDIC 209. Conference and exhibition. That north America's firefighters. We Americans and the Canadians that we welcome here is Brothers. Have made this the single largest. And most important fire rescue show in the world. Thank you for your continuing support. As CEO and well. This always proud moment. And I'm very proud to be here to be with you and be with such a brave group of people who save lives. I'm. That the meaningful fire training and education invent. That we have here is unique. In all of North America in the world. To deliver this world class program. We have many great partners. I would love. But cannot possibly mention all of them but please accept. My deepest appreciation. From -- well and from fire engineering. To all those selfless efforts that are made by great conference does that make our great conference is possible. And a continuing success. As the world's most successful. Fire rescue program. We could not do it without you and the wonderful -- 175. Instructors. That I talked to last night who conducted the hot session and I will tell you and in the twelve years we have been involved in directing -- we've only had one minor injuries. In that -- time it's a great tribute. To the -- and professionalism. Of all of you have made. FDIC. An event firefighters around the world -- to emulate. You are the top professionals in the world. Needed here today and attending art classes. Further I would like to extend -- special things. To all of you -- -- here today not only for your participation. During this special week but also. For your dedication. To your duties throughout the year. That provide a safety net. For all of our families. In all of North America as well as our friends and neighbors you are unique heroic group of men. And I'm I'm deeply they honored you're here today because. You deserve that our honor and -- probation. This morning I'm once again. Deeply honored to -- to participate. In the presentation. Of the ray -- Courage and valor -- war I first met chief ray -- here twelve years ago. And he was a vibrant. The evangelist. For firefighting. All over the world and he was powerful man a man of deep dedication to this wonderful profession -- you head. So it's an honor for me. Two to be here -- and to be able to help salute. Chief tray down. He was an extraordinary man. -- throughout his life personified. Fire service. Courage and valor. Chief -- was famous for his accomplishments. In his service in New York City in the nation. He also provided a great service to us and Oklahoma. When the when the Murrah building. Went down and we -- -- -- to do a story and asked him to do a story and our governor Frank Keating put him in charge of the rescue. Of the collapsing building and raid took -- -- gladly and did a superb job. But all of these things -- great did he remain. A humble with passionate professionals right to the end. -- -- -- Like every wanna view he often repeated during his illustrious careers that he was. And I've heard him say it is. Just doing my job. All of you just do your job but it's a heroic job that takes courage and valor to go into a burning home -- building. Or -- -- -- rescue. Of a fellow firefighter. Like we're gonna celebrate here today. Firefighting. Was a job that -- -- he took. As seriously. As his early earlier commitment. To the United States Marine Corps and to America. It is the same spirit of dedication. To duty that this award bearing his name represents all. The courage and valor foundation mission is to help honor an individual firefighter. Who's. Actions reached extraordinary heights. The courage and -- foundation and this perpetual endowment. Willis the American fire service in continuing to recognize. Chief Downey and those firefighters. Whose bravery and actions in the face of certain harm mirror -- and emulate. His great performance on 9/11. This morning we gathered to honor another true American hero. Milwaukee firefighter. Who's sitting in the front row here -- his fiancee and child. Is. Anthony -- Last year. Anthony's conspicuous act of bravery. Under difficult conditions. Resulted in saving a life of Milwaukee fire captain theater scribbling. Firefighter Rudy -- -- those actions reflect on the fire service. And it's true values. So today. We recognize. Him individually the man sitting right here in front of me. And stand up please. But in a greater sense his actions are -- mirror of the outstanding actions all of you -- And perform today. When you're doing just your job. Their courage and valor foundation which is to express. And expand its appreciation. And thanks for the long to the national fallen firefighters foundation. Represented on this stage. To be here today by director re -- And the national fire academy alumni association. Whose president -- and -- man is standing here today with us as well. These gentlemen. And -- the candidate favoring forward. For our committee. -- Very very thankless. Time I'm doing and we we encourage all of you put in nominations from all over the North American time for this war. But they are the ones that really -- a on the committee along with race you and -- -- In making final decisions you people that are professionals. You have the thing and you have the background. -- -- The difference in harm's way and the risks and ball and we depend heavily on in making the election and we do it very carefully. Not based and geography. Not based on anything other than. Be the action. And the risks. That the firefighter takes with -- -- -- to say someone else. In the in his action so we are grateful to these men and the associations they represent. For listening it's in the ray Downey courage and valor. Election prices. Now join me please. And welcoming FDNY. Italian cheese Joe Downey. And shut down raised two wonderful sons who have loyalty. Represented the chip off the old block. Of -- and we we rely on them a lot there are great pair came together all over and they are devoted to this award. And we are lucky to have them involved in their skills. In helping analyze the the re opinion of this courage and and valor medals named after -- father is necessary for every decision we've made every year. Thank you Bob. On behalf of the tide -- Stanley. Thank you for continuing to my moral lives. The -- -- if -- farther with this tremendously important warning. Thank you also bop Joe -- I feel especially proud this morning he that today we honor a five trying to. Who was able -- -- 55. Saving lives is the number one mission of the fire service it is particularly important to recognize when one -- -- alone who was eight. The actions of firefighter Anthony -- Who we on again this morning. -- -- training and practice can yield fantastic results. That is right -- fire -- -- performed his duties gallantly under adverse to dangerous. Conditions. By remaining calm -- focused even though he himself was -- His actions in those early morning -- example flies the highest traditions of the fire service. But before we tell five fighters -- story we want to express -- -- gratitude to the -- to about foundation. We'd also like to thank the -- -- engineering advisers and staffers who continues late. On the lookout for particularly courageous acts to request nominations. The election process has several components. -- involving firefighters from across the country. We received reports of on -- bravery and is always extremely difficult task to narrow it down to just 15 -- Whose actions rose above all others. But in the final analysis again this -- there was one that above the rest. One candidate that my brother and I agreed reminded us -- by. By his actions about fault chief -- -- It now to the 2009 recipient of the ray Downey courage and valor award. -- 2:47 AM. On May 22 2008. Milwaukee NG five received an alarm reporter working fire. As you five including captain Theodore scribbling. And entity -- arrived on the scene three minutes later. -- I was directed to advance a wind sort of front -- to the second floor -- first -- driving engine company. -- when he -- advise them that the first floor looked heavily damaged. And it's when he won fighting the fire from the -- of building in the basement below. Captains dribbling and firefighter -- messed up at the front of the door to advance to line. The captain noticed it was about six steps -- -- to the second floor as they entered. He remembered firefighter -- mentioning to him that the floor felt squishy. And they both got down on all fours -- proceeding cautiously. That is the blasting the captain remembered before walking up and an ambulance on his way to the hospital. As captains dribbling a firefighter -- will crawl across the floor. To reach landing the wood I beam trusses supporting -- floor. Gave way under their weight kept struggling and firefighter -- both don't have burning basement below. -- strictly was knocked unconscious in the fall and five -- -- which struck repeatedly. By -- debris including mistake. Firefighter router remembered getting down -- all boys and within seconds the lord giving way. He said he tried to grab -- -- that way but that didn't work and that Daly came down on top of them as they sell to the basement floor. I try to -- it remember covering his head to protect himself from the falling debris and after few seconds thinking. Where's the captain. As a result of the all firefighter Anthony -- suffered neck back and shoulder injuries. But to fight his injuries and pain. Anthony -- captain scribbling unconscious. He tried to wake him up and move around Anthony remembered asking him repeatedly captain are you okay you'll get can -- -- -- The captain scribbling was -- unable to response. During on the solid training he had received at the fire academy. Firefighter -- took the radio from the -- pocket and called the May Day -- day. Mayday -- firefight is down. At the same time -- 21 hearing the noise of the collapsing floor also called it possible May Day. Firefighter -- explain that to five site is in the basement -- down. One unconscious. And they began to try to drag -- tactic to a as Anthony was -- May Day he noticed a light realizing it might be a window -- door. He -- captain scribbling by USCB. -- -- and began dragging him toward the light. Upon reaching the door he began hanging on it repeatedly to identify the location. To -- responding written out. After the duo was forced by the responding rate firefighter -- helped drag captains dribbling outside. Where they both received medical attention. And they were transported. By ambulance to the hospital. Captain -- sustained a head injury and broken ribs and was off work for three months. Firefighter -- sustained neck back and shoulder injuries. It was out for five months. In the early moments. May 22. 2000 -- Firefighter Anthony -- demonstrated. Extreme. Courage. And valor. His own faltering focus. And commitment to the saving of the life of its captain. Despite the danger and injuries -- so exemplify. The selfless and highest tradition. Of fire service. Fire fire fighter -- It's presence of mind. And ability to maintain his awareness. And utilize his training. Under extremely stressful. And personally dangerous circumstances. Makes him hero. 24 year old firefighter Anthony Ruda. Is a second generation. Milwaukee. Firefighter who proudly wears his father's -- -- for three -- During his short -- your -- Firefighter Anthony router it was has displayed exceptional bravery. Not only on May 22 2008. But. I'm I'm I'm one and one other occasion in 2004. During his first year on the job. Firefighter -- was forced to jump to stories. Along with his captain. When conditions at a house -- Suddenly intensify. Trapping them about the fire. That day firefighter -- jump. Twelve C and his captain landed on top of that day he suffered second degree burns. And a neck injury. But that did not stop him. From returning to work to prove himself again. And save the life of captain Theodore scribbling. For his extraordinary. Courage and valor. -- -- fire engineering. And all of you that are here today -- present to honor. Firefighter Anthony -- with the 2009. Ray Downey courage and valor award along with a check. For 35000. Dollars from the fire engineering courage and valor foundation. It gives me immense pleasure. Dinner reduced use your wordy for 2009. Milwaukee firefighter. Anthony -- I would just like the first -- -- thank you. Everybody. That's of the men and women in the -- service. Is an honor to stand side by side view. In the players -- calls. And just plant life. It is a complete honor to be a part of -- our apartment. Add to her this award. I believe that -- stalling is shining dollar on us every date. And that. -- nature always is it. I I honestly -- and is the complete honor and unexpected. More than anything I believe that Dolly is -- football. Shined on us and protecting the -- women of walking -- department and every fire department. Others are. So -- you think you. We'd like to have that the two chiefs for Milwaukee come up here and join us -- -- And and and any other members from. And chief Mike Jones and any other members. Of the Milwaukee. Fire department or here today please stand -- here. -- of this great award and we appreciate. All of you coming here to celebrate your fellow firefighters. Related here. We don't like. -- over here. But the big -- That. -- -- -- played so good but. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You get for thirty -- credit.

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