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FDIC 2006: Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award

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Fri, 22 Feb 2008|

Robert F. Biolchini, president and CEO of PennWell Corporation, presentated the '06 award to Firefighter Sean Neary, Detroit (MI) Fire Department, for actions he took at a trench rescue.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Now my privilege are privileged to pay tribute to the memory of all the heroes that we lost -- -- Are presenting an award -- -- as the name and legacy of deputy chief ray Downey. One of the greatest fire service leaders of our time. Ladies and gentlemen please help me again welcome -- back my boss the Chief Executive Officer and -- corporation. Parent company of fire engine fire engineering magazine battalion chief Robert FB key. Good morning again ladies and gentlemen. I am honored to be here again this morning with you to join you in celebrating. The tenth anniversary of fire -- hearings ownership. And management. Of the FDIC. Conference. On behalf of all of us -- -- well in fire engineering welcome to FDIC. 2006. I too must. -- make a reference to the sudden loss. -- Tom Brennan. Is having on all of our hearts this morning. And I feel it fitting to mention. -- Tom was truly a supportive. And valued part of our fire engineering family. I wish I was scheduled to have a stake with Tom Brennan last night. -- And and Bobby -- was setting this up and it was to celebrate his life. In ten years of devoted service the FDIC. And his -- three years. As the leading evangelist. Of a consistent fire service message and miss -- and at fire engineering. He was truly the keeper of the holy Grail for all those years. We have planned -- visit about what he called your magazine. Fire engineering. And I say your magazine because that is how Tom would of insisted we referred to it. Tom Brennan was to me as well as to you. A part of fire engineering. It will never be replaced. Tom was honest direct and -- Tom was -- type of man you were proud to be associated with. Time and -- planned to speak about the future of fire engineering. And it the key things to him editorial integrity. And and the two subjects Tom understood very well. Where those editorial integrity and fire engineering -- imbedded deeply in his heart and soul. We're very proud to have time for seven years as our editor in chief. And sixteen years as our technical editor. I was honored that he had requested although he knew his time was limited. To spend an evening with me here at it and it. Here at FDIC. I I join with you all this morning. In mourning the loss of one of America's. Finest firefighters. May he rest in peace. And may god have mercy on him. As the CEO -- well corporation. I am very proud to be able to support. And direct the most meaningful fire training and educational event in the entire world. Many of you know we run the shows now in foreign lands and I can tell you it's the it's the training that makes the show exceptional and the men who run the training that I'm very grateful for. We had. 14100 people go through this course without injury and it's a tribute to the men. Who really serve this country in doing that and serve this nation it's a great part of America. And we're proud of that panel to be a part of it. Thank thank you very much for your participation. During this special week in your support throughout the year. This is -- show -- ten well this honored and humbled to be a part of it. I am especially pleased to participate. In the presentation of the fifth ray Downey courage and valor award. Chief Downey was an extraordinary. Man who throughout his life personified. Fire service courage and valor. Chief Downey's life was richer and more courageous. Than most men could ever dream. And yet like all firefighters. He was a humble man. The courage and valor foundation your perpetual endowment. We'll continue to assist. The American fire service in recognizing. -- -- annually together with another American hero. Whose act of selfless. Bravery demands we single that person out. For exceptional courage and valor in the line of duty while attempting to save lives. The courage and valor foundation will perpetually honor in a greater sense the work. You all do every day. And for that I think each and every wanna view on behalf of all Americans. Everywhere. I wish to extend my appreciation and thanks to the national fallen firefighters foundation. And the national fire academy alumni association. Whose members continue to assist in the in the award and selection process. That is carried on by -- us. Now please join me in welcoming F. The NY battalion chiefs Joe Downey. And -- Downey. Raise sons in the papers or in in the presenting -- being 2006. Ray Downey courage and valor award. Thank you Bob on behalf of the Downey family. Thank you for continuing to memorialize the legacy of -- father but this tremendously important awarded. -- and I don't know we would be embarrassed by all this attention he would just say. I was doing my job -- stretch -- which is why what we're doing here this morning is so important. Just doing the job is the most courageous thing you'll ever do. Have to agree with you and he continues to amaze me how much coverage in about this plea and fight arms across America and that's true. And with having said that we must tell you it was very difficult to select just one firefighter among all the candidates nominated this year. But in the final analysis that was one that stood above the rest one -- That my brother and I agree reminded us by his actions about she's very. And now she has missed -- of the -- Downey courage and valor. And August 19 at seven minutes afternoon a homeowner in Detroit and his son but working in -- -- trench thirty feet long and twelve feet deep. The trench collapsed catastrophically. Airing this on completely and his father up to his chest. Temperatures is stable and ninety degrees with extreme humidity. Senior five -- -- the area responded as a member of Detroit's fight on its rescue squad for. And quickly size that the situation using his technical rescue -- -- in the collapse rescue equipment needed five -- in the area improvised anything wasting invites you into that is. A lot attack. Near you then don't honest directed to -- to -- him into an unstable trench to begin to move certain degree. -- the trapped thought the victim was in respiratory distress due to the weight of the class material which restricted his ability to breathe. During sex education firefighting the -- was forced to use his hands. And small cell the moved there from the victim five fight and the area was continuously being struck by phone -- enclaves throughout the -- -- Sean continue to date realize that time was of the yes it's true that. Then an act of complete selflessness. Firefight in -- removed his own safety grow and attach it to the victim. This action removes his only means of escape in the event of a secondary collapse. Showing did this believing it would be the only would be the victims only hope despite this edit lifting to mention the father remained trapped. Undaunted by five ordinary -- -- himself. The very bottom of the trench work unsecured. And bear handed to freedom victim's feet from the -- -- Near complete exhaustion fife and Mary was finally able to disentangle the father. Who was pulls successfully up from twelve feet from -- the collapse. Upon learning of an unanticipated delay in the arrival of much needed trench rescue equipment. Firefighting -- then began coming gearing materials. That we provide sanctuary to continue rescue operations for the sun. Showing any other firefighters cut down fencing -- nearby roofing crew is plywood. Using bad boys in the available products showing in the crew able to improvise -- -- ensuring to make a -- safe to enter. Despite his heroic if -- the second victim was removed -- from the tragic collapse. On August 19. 2005. Senior firefighter Sean Neary exemplify the traits. Which defined courage and valor. Beyond that Sean was the model of effective teamwork. Were you as the highest train. Are empowered to make decisions. And weigh the risks. He supported his officers decision. To make the call and he led his team successfully. In saving the only viable victim. Sean placed the lives of those he's -- -- protect. Above his own and valiantly placed himself in mortal danger for his fellow man. He remained -- com. Clear headed in the face of great personal danger. Sean -- actions that date remind us all of the type of Man Ray Downey was electing to place his life. On the line to save others. -- his extraordinary courage and valor were pleased. -- honored to present senior firefighter. Sean -- With the 2006. -- eight Downey courage and valor award. Along with the -- 5000 dollar check from the fire engineering. Courage and valor foundation. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you. Senior firefighter Sean -- -- very much I just like to think of a -- while corporation. Fire engineering magazine for this great honor. Of course my wife and family for all their sacrifices for letting me do the greatest job in the world. To receive an award. In honor of chief ray Downey is truly -- humbling experience. -- probably feel like most firefighters do that. I didn't do anything extraordinary that anybody else in this room wouldn't have done put in the same situation. And also like to thank my DFD. Family for coming down. And all of you for attending this great conference it's truly an honor. Thank you very much.

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