Thu, 10 Apr 2008|
Lt. Michael Cabral of the Fall River (MA) Fire Department is this year's recipient of the Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award.
It's now my privilege and honor to pay tribute to the memory of our fellow firefighters who we lost on 9/11. By presenting an award that memorial lies is the name and legacy of deputy chief -- down. One of the greatest leaders of our generation. Please join with me in welcoming welcoming the Chief Executive Officer -- -- corporation the parent company of fire injuring magazine. My boss mr. Robert FB Ekene. Good morning ladies and gentlemen. I'm again honored to be here. With -- This morning celebrating the life and legacy. Achieve -- -- and participating. In the eightieth annual fire department instructors conference. This year marks the twelfth anniversary. A fire engineering direction of the FDIC conference. And the seventh anniversary. Of the ray Downey courage and valor award. On behalf of all of us -- -- well. And fire engineering. We welcome you to FDIC. 20 way. As the CEO of -- well. I am very proud. To be able to support. Direct the most meaningful fire training educational event in the entire world. To deliver this world class program. We have many great partners. I would love but. I cannot possibly hope to mentioned -- all but please accept my deepest appreciation. To all of all of those selfless efforts. I've made that have made this great event. Conference possible. Further I would like to extend a special things. To you all of -- firefighters here today. Not only for your participation. During this special week. But also for your dedication. To your duties in helping -- kind. And serving lives throughout the year. And in saving lives throughout the year. This morning I -- once again for the seventh time. Deeply. Honored to participate. In the presentation. Of the ray Downey courage and valor award. Chief Downey. Was a man I knew well. In an extraordinary man. Who throughout his life personified. Fire service courage and valor. She's Downey is remembered for his tremendous accomplishments. In his service to New York City in the nation. And I remember him well on his service in Oklahoma. When the -- building went down where he served our governor Frank Keating. There -- in making in saving lives. Yet we knew him despite all of his his great accomplishments to be a very humble man. Like everyone -- you he often repeated. During his illustrious career. That he was. Just doing his job. Fire fight off. Firefighting. Was a job the chief Downey took as seriously. As his earlier commitment. To the United States marine -- It is the same spirit and dedication to duty. That this award bearing his name represented us. The courage and valor Foundation's. Mission. Is to help honor an individual firefighter. Whose actions reached extraordinary. Heights. Their courage and valor foundation. And this perpetual endowment will assist the American fire service. In continuing to recognize. Chief Downey in those whose actions mere it is. This morning. We gather to honor another true American hero. Lieutenant Michael -- all of the Fall River, Massachusetts fire department. Last year Michael's focused act of bravery. Under difficult conditions. Resulted in saving too young lives. Lieutenant car -- action reflect. On the fire services true value. So today we recognize him individually. But in a greater sense his actions are -- of the outstanding actions. Each -- you perform. As of firefighters saving lives. The courage and valor foundation wishes to extend its appreciation. And thanks. To the fallen through the national fallen firefighters foundation. Represented on the stage here today by director -- certain this he. And the national fire academy alumni association. Whose president -- -- man is standing here today with us as well. We -- grateful to these men and their associations. Further helping us. And representing us in and in assisting us in the ray Downey courage and valor award selection. Now please join me in welcoming FDNY. Battalion chiefs Joe Downey. And shut down raise sons. In presenting -- -- -- ray Downey courage and valor award. Thank you Bob. -- -- -- -- -- -- Thank you for continuing to memorial -- to legacy -- -- follow with disappointment. Tremendously important award. Thank you also -- -- I feel especially proud this morning to see that today we honor firefighters. Was able to rescue two young lives. Saving lives is the number one mission the fires just. And the actions of lieutenant can be wrong we on in this morning proves our training and practice field test results. That is right chuck lieutenant -- brawl performed his -- gallantly under adverse dangerous conditions. By remaining calm and focused. His actions those early morning hours of October 25 2007. Exemplified the highest traditions of the fire service. Book before we tell the -- brawl story we want to express our family's gratitude to the courage and ballot foundation. We also would like to thing. -- -- engineering advisers and staffers who continuously. On the lookout for particularly courageous acts to request nominations. The selection process has several components involving firefighters from across the country. We receive reports of unparalleled bravery. And is always an extremely difficult test to narrow it down to just one firefight -- Whose actions rose above all. But in the final analysis it was one that stood above the rest one candidate -- my brother and I agreed reminded us. By his actions about -- she freaked out. And now to the 2008 recipient of the ray Downey courage and valor award. Just after the midnight. On October 25 2007. And still alarm was struck at the full -- the Massachusetts fired upon. And G four slated to in the remaining -- still assignment response was dispatched to reported structural fire. At a local housing project. Lieutenant Michael brawl and a crew vendor for respondent to be -- long. Approaching a fart scene from a distance the -- a brawl -- the cloud of black smoke in the sky in the vicinity. Of a well known housing project. On arrival there was heavy black smoke pouring out -- second floor windows and -- front -- There were people outside screaming and yelling police offices. Told Tenneco brawl that there were two children trapped in second floor bedroom. The -- brawl seized. -- that -- scene -- dismounted from -- engine for along with his crew. Touring on his military and fire service training. The Tenneco brawl concentrating on controlling his -- -- -- emotions amid a chaotic scene of excited and fearful residents. He knew they had to getting there quickly. He's been doing knew time was of -- in essence if they hope to save those children. Lieutenant a brawl -- his crew restriction attack line. Then observing a rapid rapidly tearing conditions he realized the stretch could not be made time to save the children. It was at this point that -- brawl. Instruct his crew to meet him on the second floor landing with a line. Alone and without the protection of -- hand line Britannica brawl and to the front door is -- he was forced to his hands and knees due to heat heavy smoke and no visibility. As he -- the state case the heat intensified. Reaching the second floor landing lieutenant come raw found the apartment and did and began its search. While searching the apartment the Tenneco brawl could feel the heat intensifying. After searching several rooms he found the children's room and made entry. He counted what felt like a crib but no victim was an -- or under -- Continuing the search he felt the bed and felt the small foot of the first victim. Scooping up the limp body he continued it continued a quick search for the second victim. The Tenneco brawl may be extremely difficult decision to leave with the first victim. Realizing the chances for the second victim survival. Would be much lower. Lieutenant to brawl retrace his hit out of the apartment staying -- He lost his footing and slid down a flight of stairs while supporting the three year old -- on his chest at the door he was met by fellow for. -- over the firefighters who immediately began CPR and a child who appeared to be like -- The -- -- then re entered the building to attempt to locate and remove the second child. The engine company was still dancing to -- -- flawed and -- brawl passed them on his way back to the victims upon. Confident he could locate the second child the Tenneco brawl again and did and found his way to the bedroom to continue his search. With conditions continuing to deteriorate. He felt what he assumed was a -- up against the walls. He felt around and found a small hadn't. Lifting the six year old child into his arms he turned to finest crew entering the bedroom behind him. As lieutenant a -- Past the advancing -- -- -- was pulled from his face and he needed to regain his air supply. Recognize and he was now in danger of not being able. To quickly exit without an intact face -- lieutenant for -- quickly handed a young girl to another firefighter. Who rapidly exited with the victim. Lieutenant -- -- we -- his own face peace and exhausted. He made his way outside the structure to find -- CPR was being performed on the children. The medics outside were able to revive the young boy on the scene. But the six year old girl was in worse condition. And was not revived until she arrived at the local area hospital. After being airlifted to we -- burn center at Mass. General. Both children eventually fully recovered from their injuries. In the early moments of October 25. 207. Lieutenant -- brawl demonstrated the extreme courage and valor. His own faltering focus and commitment to saving the lives of the two young children. Despite the danger to himself. It exemplifies. The highest tradition. Of the of of the fire service. Lieutenant -- brawls. Persistence in his search to locate the second victim. Was heroic yet not considered. Out of character by his fellow Fall River firefighters. Lieutenant Michael -- -- is 37 years old. And a lifelong resident. Of the city of Fall River, Massachusetts. He is the youngest of twelve that your children. Born to a Portuguese immigrant family. With ten -- brawl was. He has been serving Fall River for six and a half years. In his an active member of the Bristol county regional technical rescue team. For his extraordinary courage and valor. We are honored. To present lieutenant. Michael -- all. With the 20 wait ray Downey courage and valor award along with a 35000. Dollar check from the fire engineering courage and valor foundation. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you. Lieutenant Michael -- brawl. Thank -- morning. It is with great honor and privilege for me to accept this award in honor of one of the most highly decorated and courageous five. By it is chief rate down. I'd like to thank the fire -- -- encourages golf foundation. The -- well cooperation the FB IC. I would also like to thank my wife and family. For this -- Along with a -- of fire department. And my fellow brother firefighters for all of their efforts in nominating me for this prestigious award. I'm very fortunate to be surrounded by many great firefighters. And trained by outstanding training offices. Without them this could not have been possible. The greatest rewards. Is that those -- children are alive and doing well. They -- truly the real heroes. This experience has had a tremendous impact on my life and will remember me for. Thank you all very much.