Fri, 22 Feb 2008|
The Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award was presented to the widow and family of Lt. Howie Carpluk, who died August 27, 2006, trying to save the life of a fellow FDNY member.
Roses this router. A very solid -- -- are certain and our program. -- is now my privilege and honor. To assist all of us and helping to pay tribute to the memory. Of our fellow Brothers and sisters who were lost on 9/11. -- presenting an award that memorial was the legacy. -- deputy chief ray downing. One of the greatest fire service leaders of all time. Please help me in joining please join me in welcoming. The Chief Executive Officer and -- corporation. The the parent company of fire -- magazine. My boss and your friend mr. Robert FB Ekene. The most important thing I do is bring out the check. And that's a big part of what we're gonna do here this morning good morning. Ladies and gentlemen. We -- -- well. And I myself as a CEO were honored. To be here with you again this morning. Celebrating. The legacy of chief ray Downey. In his participating. In the -- and in in participating in the seventy ninth annual fire department. Instructors conference. This year marks the eleventh. Anniversary of fire engineering this direction of the FDIC. Conference. On behalf of all of us -- -- well. And fire engineering we welcome. All of you to FDIC. 207. As the CEO of -- well. I must tell you that. I'm very very proud to each year to be here to be able to his support and direct the most meaningful fire training. And educational event in the entire world. To deliver this world class program. We have many great partners. I would love to speak to you on all of them last night I addressed. The the hot session members who were essential to making is the greatest fire training show in the world. I'd like to did acknowledge them. And but please -- my deepest appreciation. To all of them. All of those whose selfless efforts make this great conference possible. Further I would like to -- to extend a special thank you to all of you firefighters here today. Not only for your participation. During this special week. But also for your dedication to your duties. Throughout the entire year. This morning I -- again. -- -- deeply honored to participate. In the presentation. Of the ray Downey courage and valor a war. I knew chief downing. And he was an extraordinary man. -- throughout his life -- personified. Fire service. Courage and valor. She's Downey's life was. Far richer. In more exciting. Than most in yet to all who knew him. He was indeed a humble man. Like everyone -- you he often repeated during his illustrious career. That he was just in quote it's doing his job. Firefighting was a job that -- Downey checked. As seriously as his earlier commitment. To the United States Marine Corps. It is that same spirit and dedication to duty. That this award bearing his name -- presents. The courage and and -- foundation mission. Is to help honor and individual firefighter. Whose actions rose to extraordinary. Heights. The courage and -- foundation. And this perpetual endowment and will assist the American fire service in continuing to recognize. She's downing. And those whose actions. Mirror is. This morning. We gathered to honor the true another true American hero. -- -- -- -- Whose final act of selfless bravery. Demands we recognize him. His life. His values. And his memory. The courage and valor foundation wishes to extend. Its appreciation. To the national fallen firefighters foundation. And the national fire academy alumni association. Whose members can continued to assist us. In the raid in the presentation. And and the choices on the ray Downey courage and valor awards selection process. Now please join me in welcoming. -- NY battalion chief Joe -- want to raise sons. In this presentation. Of the 207. Ray Downey courage and valor -- war. -- thank you -- on behalf of the -- -- thank you for continuing to memorialize. The legacy of our motto which is tremendously important award him. I know my father would be especially proud this morning to see today for the first time in his Foundation's history. The FDNY is -- on it a member of TNT and -- being reminded. Lieutenant how would -- about is the first SD NY brother. To be awarded to ray Downey courage and valor award that. Although lieutenant content luck is that DNY a family is grateful that the foundation can solicit. Nominations -- -- what nationally. We also appreciate the fire engineering advises and stand please contact departments. For nominations when they read or hear of -- particularly courageous acts. The selection process as several components. Each involving firefighters from across -- country. We received reports of unparalleled bravery. And is always an extremely difficult task to come down to just one firefighter. Whose actions rose above all others. But in the final analysis there was one -- -- above the rest. One candidate our committee agreed on reminded us of my father chief ray Downey. And now does this year's recipient of the ray Downey courage -- one. -- 1230 on -- afternoon of August 27 2006. The bronze dispatches authors who began receiver and records of -- working fire. At a store 50s70s by Walton avenue in in nineteen section of the -- Arriving units found heavy flight conditions in 99 cent discount store that was part of it grow a three attached stores. Lieutenant how -- -- plunk was working overtime in 75 engine. He knew the area well and his regular -- -- 42 engine was reassigned first you at this location. -- ten a couple of encourage the initial report of the working file a working fire followed quickly by request. For an additional engine and -- This request would bring lieutenant caught the -- and -- 75 to the scene. On -- five engine that's Sunday wasn't normally assigned crew including probationary -- -- Michael Riley. -- only six months at a training academy. This -- was an opportunity for lieutenant -- blank to do what he -- to do. Teaching young firefighter about the job. On arrival semi side engine was assigned to stretch -- to the front of the -- To support 42 engines line. The fire was being well Floyd and hose lines are making good progress knocking down the fire and removing the threat. To the attacks toys and he's joining apartment houses. As the bulk of the fire was being knocked down the hose lines began a course uses advanced. One line on either side of the -- display counter. That a company's advanced alongside the NG companies checking for the presence of fire overhead in the -- lost. Which to hose lines knocked down before proceeding. As -- lines advanced to the mid point 175. Foot deep store the wooden floor suddenly gave way. Plunging three companies downward into -- -- and carrying a number of -- is in the falling debris. Lieutenant couple -- and semi side engine or at the front of this advanced and -- -- most heavily buried. Rescue athletes for lieutenant -- -- and the others -- began immediately. The on scene fast -- a rescue company has several other units were quickly joined by units on a third alarm assignment. Transmitted to support the rescue him. With multiple members partially buried and the fires still burning in several locations. Rescuers were able to reach most of they were -- the members quickly. When rescuers found lieutenant crop -- he was buried up to his chest and on the debris from the collapse floor. As a rescue was approached lieutenant crop -- immediately redirected. Their efforts to the area directly in front of his location. Where he believes he's probationary firefighter Michael Riley was buried yet. As the rest US it's continued for the next 45 minutes. The -- up the block from his trapped location sure -- -- to remain conscious against sustain. And several times he passed out from his injuries and exhaustion. Through -- all lieutenant caught the -- refused to be the main priority. He insisted -- and Michael Riley was right in front of him in the debris of the 99 cent store and all of its contents. He continued to direct the rescue efforts to focus on finding and saving firefighter Michael -- The nature of the collapse had thrown lieutenant -- plunk and firefighter rally from the rest of 75 -- As soon as enough debris was removed to permit lieutenant -- -- to use his arms. He immediately began digging -- -- -- -- to search for the missing firefighter. Despite a toll it was taking on him. The debris pinning him was compressed his chest in his diaphragm. Restricting the amount of bad he could -- and each breath. After spending his last remaining -- -- lieutenant Carl -- fell for the final time into our consciousness. Following these heroic yes it's rescuers were finally able to remove unconscious lieutenant Howard -- look. He needs him they found -- -- society of firefighter rally. As DNY paramedics immediately began -- -- resuscitation efforts on the science societies. Who both tragically succumbed to their injuries. On the afternoon of August -- sevenths. 2006. Lieutenant our -- -- demonstrated extreme courage. And valor. His own faltering focus. And commitment to saving probationary firefighter. Michael Riley. Despite he himself being seriously injured and trapped. Up to his chest in debris. Tumbles all of us. However lieutenant car park. Its insistence. That all the efforts -- rescuers. Remain on locating. And saving his probationary. -- -- before removing him. From the debris was not to those who knew lieutenant -- -- unexpected. Lieutenant Howard -- look it was a twenty year member of the fire department. Of New York. He had proven his leadership in bravery many times before. Lieutenant our car but. Was highly respected. Admired and deeply loved by those with whom he served. Many of his fellow firefighters. Have contacted us to express their love a lieutenant -- but. And there's sadness. At his loss. During his career lieutenant -- part. Was recognized as part of a unit citation. For the exemplary performance of their duties. Furthermore. Lieutenant powered car but it had been previously decorated. For his valor. By the -- -- -- of New York. It is with tremendous respect of his memory. And legacy. That we do so here again today. For his extraordinary. Courage and valor. We are honored to present his ways. Mrs. Deborah -- -- and his and her two children in her sister Christina terror plot and the family. With the 8207. Ray Downey courage and valor -- war. Along with a 25000. Dollar check from the fire engineering courage and valor foundation. It gives me great pleasure. Your standard issue through the car -- family. How. Am just Eleanor sorry Aaron first I just wanna say -- -- -- -- ceremony. Thank you very much do -- I think Canada. I know my brother was here today he would be quite humbled and as we've heard of -- -- how do it is as well. You receive such an honor it's just like golf firemen. I think my brother and I do and just send him he was just doing his job. -- Harris the firemen as long as I have memories from him he was always our protector. Always our hero. He was an exceptional spirit. That'll long be remembered -- -- always be. In our hearts. He always -- -- you know everything into everything he did whether it was being a -- being a brother being a friend. Being a husband and our father. That keeps this quick obviously didn't. I just wanna say from my -- And myself. I was extend our appreciation. And thanks of the fire and encourage enough foundation. And the FDIC. For this prestigious honor. Thank you for remembering all the screen just an exceptional man who risked their lives every day. -- will always -- in our hearts and thank you so much for him remember him and.