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Home>Topics>>2010 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award

2010 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award

Wed, 21 Apr 2010|

Captain Eric Hankins of the Yuba City (CA) Fire Deparment is presented with the 2010 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award at FDIC.



Now our honor and privilege to pay tribute to the memory of our fellow firefighters. We lost on 9/11. By presenting an award that memorialize the name. And the like. A -- down. One of the greatest fire -- leaders of all time. Please join with me in welcoming the Chief Executive Officer and -- corporation. The parent company fire engineering and FDI CMR Robert FB -- Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm honored again. To be here. With you again this morning to celebrate the life. And legacy. Chief ray Downey. And to participate. In the 82 annual. Fire department instructors conference. This year marks the fourteenth year. The fourteenth anniversary of fire -- -- direction. Of the FDIC conference which. I think everyone. In the world -- to -- in terms of fire rescue. On behalf of all of us at -- well. And fire engineering. And welcome to the FDIC 210 conference's. And exhibition than that north America's finest firefighters have made this single largest. And most important fire rescue show in the world. We have -- well thank you for your continuing support. And as a CEO -- well. I am very proud to be able to support and direct. The most meaningful fire training. And educational event in the entire world. You people save lives. In were happy to be a part of it. To deliver this world class program we have many great partners. I would love to but time will not permit. Mentioning all of them but please accept my deepest appreciation. Although all whose selfless efforts. Make this great conference possible. And and and that continuing success as the world's most of us -- fire rescue. Event. You have made FDI seeing. An event firefighters around the world. Need and are proud and eager to be a part. Further I would like to extend a special thing thanks -- you for all of you firefighters here today. Not only for your pictures -- -- in this special we. But all so for your dedication. To your duties throughout. The year that provide a safety net. For our family our friends. And our neighbors this is deeply appreciated. This morning I -- once again deeply honored to participate in the presentation. Of the ray Downey. Courage -- valor award. I knew chief ray Downey and he was an extraordinary man I first met a mere. Fifteen years ago. And throughout his life he personified. Fire service courage and valor. Chief -- was famous for his accomplishments. In his service in New York City -- the nation. And yet he was and remain. A humble -- -- professional. To the very end. Like everyone -- you he often repeated during his illustrious career that he was in quotes just doing his job. Firefighting was a job that -- Downey took seriously as his earlier commitment. In the US Marine Corps. It is same spirit and dedication. To duty. That this award bearing his name represents today. The courage and valor foundation mission. Is to help honor an individual firefighter. Whose actions -- extraordinary height. The courage and valor foundation and this perpetual endowment. That we have set up -- -- the American fire service and continuing to recognize. She's Downey and those firefighters. Whose bravery in action. In the face certain harm mirrors is. This morning we gather to honor another true American hero. Yuba city fire department captain Eric hankins. Captain -- in conspicuous act of bravery under life threatening condition. Resulted in saving the lives of two. Young children. -- without his intervention. And his risk of -- life would have succumbed to a tragic fate. Kept in -- actions reflect. On the fire service and it's true values. So today we recognized him individually. And integrators and his actions are mirror of the outstanding actions. Of all of view. And there -- -- you're faced with these performing. Your work each day in saving lives. When you're call. The courage and valor foundation -- to expand its appreciation. And thanks to the national. Fallen firefighters. Foundation. Represented on stage here today by director Ron -- -- And the national fire academy alumni association. Represented by president Ron Letterman. They're standing here today with us as well we rely on all of you to bring in candidates for this courage and valor. And we have a committee that works on it and we are grateful for her for the intense work that is brought before -- in making this election. We're grateful to these men and the associations there are present for this thing in the ray Downey courage and valor award. Selection processes. Now please join me in welcoming FDYFDNY. Battalion -- Joe Downey and -- Downey raise sons. Who represent ships off the old Downey block. -- the presentation of the 2000 and ray Downey courage and valor award. Thank you Bob. On behalf of the tide -- Stanley thank you for continuing to memorialize the legacy of loss father. With -- tremendously important award. Thank you also Bob. -- -- I feel especially proud this morning to you today we honor a firefighter. Was able to rescue two innocent children. Saving lives the number one mission of the fires -- This particularly important to recognize when involves the lives of those who are most susceptible and vulnerable to -- ravages of fire. The actions of captain hankins who we are here this morning. Prove how -- training and dedication can result in the most important results. That is right chuck captain paintings -- wants his duty Galilee under adverse endanger life -- conditions. By remaining calm and focused even -- He himself had no protection from the fire. These actions in these early morning how is exemplified the highest traditions of the fire service. But before we tell captain Hank and story want to express our family's gratitude to courage and -- foundation. We also would like to thank the -- engineering advisors and -- if there were continuously. On the look out. For particularly courageous act and to -- Chris. -- The election process has several components each volley firefighters from across the country. We received reports of -- -- bravery and he's always been difficult and extremely difficult task to narrow it down to just one firefighter. Whose actions rose above all others. But in the final now this again yet there was one who stood above direct. One candidate that my brother and I agreed reminded us by his actions about father he -- down. And now 22010. Recipient of the ray Downey courage and valor award. Mid morning on January 12 2009. Off duty captain -- -- was driving to the fire station when he noticed. With -- -- steam coming from the roof of a house. As he junior he realized I smoke was coming from the ease of the house. You passed the house. Meeting you turned and called debt Yuba City public safety dispatch center. To report that he was on the scene of a possible attic fire. You requested first alarm -- and he -- -- street to the home. These structures that it had been converted to a studio apartment that could it. Yet only from -- -- period there where. -- hankins walked up. -- case a woman who had been walking down a street began screaming frantically running towards a house. When he reached the -- but -- captain Hank and had to pull back to anything. I don't language barrier and became apparent to captain Hank and that the woman had a child trapped inside the burning now. Captain hankins wearing only street closed. Without regard for his personal safety opened the door. To the upon in any town in very heavy smoke. He crawled approximately fifteen feet inside the structure and -- heard screaming child on the right side of the room. Fire was engulfing the left side has started to violently -- across the ceiling. Captain hankins began surged toward the screen visibility was down to only six to twelve inches off the floor up. Captain -- and -- terrified three year old boy sitting on the floor. Only by Fiona child's late he pulled the child down and carried. And outside the safety of his mother taking yet by the close call and still under tremendous release of have made a successful rescue. Captain -- was beginning -- -- -- you might not have to repeat his act of bravery and even more intense conditions. As an exhausted captain Hank you try to recover his composure and the mother was frantically screaming -- another child was trapped and died. Captain -- is exhausted and with. Complete understanding of the level of -- -- he must face in ID upon me. Once again he re entered the room starts for the second child. Flames now we're rolling across the -- above -- head heat build up with significant and captain Hank you could feel the energy. Burning his skin listening intently hoping to get a clue as to where the child might be he continued to punish -- -- Second child did not cry -- scream but captain -- though he had heard what sounded like a -- -- You made it government power surge to a sound and found the one year old girl -- kind of dead closed at a wal. You picked up the child and took her outside to a mother -- analyst -- had arrived. -- Stanley was transported to the hospital. After confirming that no one else was -- to house captain Hank and shut the door to try to slow the spread of fire. He notified the Yuba City public safety dispatch center of the two rescues and ask for a second a -- If you're an -- for the Stanley Catherine hankins and put on -- personal protective equipment. -- remain on scene until he was joined by to first -- engine company. -- with the fire attack -- -- fire was extinguished Catherine hankins was also transported to hospital armored room. -- observation and treatment of minor burns and smoke inhalation. Captain -- -- told him that this type situation the risk benefit analysis. We tell a firefight -- not to enter under any circumstance. However. With children lives that they kept -- paintings went well above the normal risks associated. With fire signing when he -- the burning house that morning. Without personal protective. And at great risk to his own life to selflessly -- someone else does not only once but twice. Under worsening conditions the second time. On the morning. The January 13 2009. Captain -- -- and demonstrated. Extreme. Courage and valor. -- I'm faltering focus. And commitment to this savings. The lives of two Trapp children. Despite the danger and restrooms self. Exemplifies. The selfless. And highest traditions. Of the fire service. Captain Hank in the presence of mind. And a bit and and his ability. -- maintain his awareness and utilize -- training. Under extremely stressful and personally dangerous circumstances. Made him a hero. And our election as a wordy this year with the help of course the brunt of these two Downey Brothers -- Always help us in making these elections because they have sensitivity as to the degree of risk. Captain -- hankins has been a member of the -- -- since 1991. He joined the Yuba city fire department in 2000. He has served as captain of engine company one and is now captain of engine company three. Is a California State fire off her. I Hazmat specialist. A swift water rescue technician. And -- tell you the California date instructor one. He is a back up dispatcher. For Butte community college in Yuba college in the state of California. Is them -- volunteer firefighter for more than fifteen years for -- Karen. He is the executive vice president and an active member of the fraternal order of -- had decided. Captain hankins has received water rescue training the Sierra Sacramento valley EMS award. The California State certificate of recognition. The American Red Cross hero award. The in this city of Yuba City lifesaving award. And the California's state firefighters association. Medal of valor. For his extraordinary. Courage and valor. And well and fire engineering are honored to present. Captain Eric hankins with -- 2010. Ray Downey courage and valor award. Along with a check from the foundation. Or 35000. Dollars from four for and that's -- the fire engineering. Courage and valor foundation. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you Euro forty for 2010. Captain Eric -- Thank you very much. Ought to think about coming up -- that was don't trip is of course the always wise guy behind you don't. Gonna keep this very short I don't public speak very much. Very much an honor the appear today. It was mentioned in the opening remarks I was honestly just doing what I thought was my job. Even have my name in the same sentences there's Downey's. It is an honor beyond belief. Even if there was a quote that it ray -- Eric thank it was garbage I would be happy with that -- my name was in the Senate is so. -- down it was. A phenomenal firemen. I headed. He early in my career that. With a very very big -- in wiped off. You -- right with a special operations. Way way way to win. The new chief downing and you would always a story. Early in my career wanted to make sure -- it. To be the best firemen I could it. I had to look up to people and chief -- it was a -- that we -- -- fireman so. I take it with great honor -- hands I appreciate everybody coming out. And thank you very much.

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