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FDIC 2012: Courage and Valor Award

Thu, 19 Apr 2012|

Chicago (IL) Firefighter Larry McCormack was the recipient of the 2012 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award.

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Transcript

It's now our privilege to -- honor and tribute to the memory of our fellow firefighters. Were lost on 9/11. By presenting an award the memorial lies is the name and legacy deputy chief straight down one of the greatest -- service leaders of our time. Please join with me now and welcoming the Chief Executive Officer of Atmel Corp. parent company of fire engineering. Mr. Robert FB -- -- Good morning. This is this show it is one of the highlights of my years every year. It's a pleasure to be here it's a pleasure to be able to host it. And the most important part of what we do I think is -- training that is taking place in the last several days -- 5000. Firemen went through the training process. And -- probably nothing saves more lives of both firemen. And citizens. Than that train. So. It's an integrated part of the -- part of our operations and we're pleased. At this we've had this this is the largest number we've ever had go through the training process. But it's a big part of what we do here and we're very proud. I think ray Downey. Would be very proud of it if you were here with us today. And I'm sure -- sees us and -- -- what we're doing it's a great tradition. That we have here and he's a part of its -- today. I am again honored for the tenth year. To be here with -- this morning. Celebrating the life and legacy. Of chief -- -- by participating. In the 84 -- the 84 annual fire department structures and a conference. To -- well. Marks the sixteenth anniversary. Fire -- -- direction. Of the FDIC conference. And the 135. Year. -- fire engineering magazine. And it serves the course the interest of all fired services. And has for well over a hundred years. On behalf of all of us at -- well. And fire engineering and welcome to FDIC 2000. An event. That north America's. Firefighters. Have made the single largest. And most important fire -- Show in the world. Thank you for your continuing support. And thank you for coming your art show we hope we can we can live up -- We hope we can measure up your expectations. And because we we really take it seriously -- -- from listening to about me. He's he is. He he he does not lack passion about the fire service. We're pleased to have him. -- his delivery. As a CEO -- well I'm very proud to deal of support. And help direct the most meaningful fire training and educational event. In the entire world it's a privilege. And and that we we take -- seriously. To deliver. The world class program. We have many great partners. We cannot possibly. Hope to mention. All of them but please accept my deepest appreciation. Two. All whose selfless efforts. Made this great conference possible. You have made FDIC. An event firefighters around the world. Need and are proud and eager to be a part. And -- Wallace thank you and so does fire engineering thank you for your loyalty. On this show and we think it's. You're reading it's a unique show. And and we we have sixty shows by the way -- -- well. But this is our favorite. And it's the most important show that we have because of the -- The role that the fire service plays so I just college you know we really take our. Our role in this seriously. Further I would like extend a special things. To all of you fire producer today not only for your participation. During the special week but also. For your dedication to your duties throughout the year. Insuring safety. At great risk. Each day for your families. Your friends and your community. You gentlemen and ladies make a great sacrifice. -- in your -- profession. And you never know the day -- the hour that -- gonna go ahead and and risk your life I'm it's. It's really -- job that is unique. In the country and were proud to be a part serving. This morning I -- once again deeply honored to participate. In the presentation of the ray -- courage and valor award. Chief ray Downey was an extraordinary man who I first met sixteen years ago here at this show. When we took over the show. And he had he has a personality like -- spirited. Direct. Great sense of humor great family man and a wonderful like. Head of FEMA for a long time. He's missed but we're we're happy to be here to honor him and -- to give -- this greater war. He. He he was the epitome. Throughout his life. And and and -- fire service courage. And valor to -- is death on 9/11 2001. A man who. Cared about his job and sacrifice his life. To do it. Chief Downey was famous for his accomplishments. In in his service in New York City. And in the nation and yet he was humble. But passion that. -- passionate professional to the very again. Like -- everyone -- reviews he often repeated during his illustrious career. -- he was in in quotes just doing its job. And and I think that's what makes the firefighters you need. That they they make sacrifices. And yet they -- is just doing their job which is terrific for. All Canadians and all Americans and others are. So the courage and valor foundation mission. Is to help honor individual. Firefighters whose actions reached extraordinary heights. The courage and valor foundation and this perpetual endowment. Will assist the American fire service in continuing to recognize. Chief Downey. And those firefighters whose bravery. In action in the face -- certain car. Mirrors it is. This morning we gathered to honor. Another true American hero of Chicago's. Firefighter. Larry McCormick. Who by the way is is an instructor we didn't know this he's been an instructor. For us for a number of years we. When we get when we gave him the award and -- -- There're there're several really. -- great. Acts of courage. With others and is -- and in this in this process. That we we went through we did not he would then. Teaching. For us. He's really involved in the player's services well. His conspicuous act of bravery and her life threatening conditions. Resulted. In saving the life of fellow Chicago firefighter. Gerald Carter. Who without his intervention. Would have succumb. To a tragic failure -- use. Yo-Yo hear the whole story. And he was out down. And would not have lived in my opinion is the mr. if firefighter McCormick not sacrifice. And take -- great -- Wednesday. Firefighter McCormick's action. Reflect. On the fire service true values. So today we recognize him individually. But in a greater sense his actions are a mirror. Of the outstanding actions. All of you are facing. And performing each day when you -- call. The courage and valor foundation wishes to extend its appreciation and thanks to the national fallen firefighters foundation. Represented on stage here today -- directory. Soon -- And the national fire academy -- alumni association. Whose president Ron -- man is standing here today with us -- will be shortly. These gentlemen. That -- -- terrific role of going through. Hundreds of presentations. Men who. Have risked their lives. Each year and -- they call it down to about four or five. For us and the committee to. To make a selection. We -- grateful to these men and the yet and the associations that are present for assisting the ray -- courage and valor. Award selection process. Now please join me in welcoming. FDNY. Battalion chiefs. Joseph Downey and checked at any rate signs. For presentation. Of the -- Good morning. Thank you Bob on behalf -- tide -- family. Thank you for continuing to demoralize the legacy -- father. With this important tremendously important award. Thank you also Bob this marks the eleventh anniversary of that tragic day at 9/11. When we lost out that with 342 about brother at the in white firefighters. And then memories this morning we recognize the actions a firefighter Larry McCormick. Actions that -- our training dedication we can result most important outcome saving lives. In this particular incident that life was one of the fellow firefighter. Five -- McCormick performed -- -- gallantly and adverse and dangerous life threatening conditions. Remaining calm and focused. Choosing to reenter hostile environment from which he had just been driven out without the protection of -- hose line. And with total disregard towards personal safety. His actions and those early morning hours exemplify the highest editions of the fire service. But before we -- firefight -- McCormick's story. We want to express our family's. Gratitude to the courage in Dallas foundation. But also like to thank the fire engineering advises and staffers. Who continuously. Her on the lookout for particularly courageous acts to request nominations. This selection process has several components. Each involving firefighters. From across the country. We received reports of unparalleled bravery. And is always an extremely difficult task to narrow it down to just 155. Whose actions rose above all others. But in the final analysis. Again this year there was one who stood out but the rest. One candidate that my brother chuck and I agree. Reminded us by his actions of our father chief -- -- And now to 2012. -- -- -- of the ray Downey and and courage valor award. On August 25 2011. At 1845 hours Chicago fire -- -- squad five. Responding to a still long for occupied residence at 1732. South Justine. While the squad was en route to fire the alarm escalated to a still box because reports of heavy fire on the second floor. On their rival the members of the squad -- reported to -- find the area to complete their assigned tasks. Five -- McCormick was assigned to rear of the fire building. He proceeded to reared its structure where he found the door open. And fight -- went up in the primary search of the first floor. Known that there were enough personnel -- -- first quarter complete the primary. Firefighter McCormick proceeded to the second floor by a wave at 35 foot extension -- raised by truck 41 to to gable -- Once on -- rear porch roof five -- McCormick removed the plywood covering the rear window to provide a means of egress. The -- -- of the rear bedroom. When -- complete the search he went through the door enjoyment members of squad five truck 22. -- but the primary of the second floor heading to respect the one. At about this time members were ordered to vacate the second floor because of rapidly deteriorating conditions. As members were headed to the -- is to exit conditions in the attic changed drastically. -- rapid rise -- heat and a large increase in volume fide media area untenable. Members in the attic were forced to make a hasty retreat down the stairs. During this time captain Tom -- and firefight at Gerald Connor an engine company 54 held their position. With the hose line to protect the other -- is as they quickly exited the second floor act. Suddenly a large died in the fire broke out. Behind the new law captain blue line and -- Carter who were ten feet away from the stairway. In NF fit to get to this says captain -- let firefight -- fire firefighter -- out. Because of the extreme volume of fire and zero visibility. Five -- a Carter lost a hand line and became disoriented and lost. Captain who want returned to the area and attempted to find -- -- -- car. But was unable to locate him. Exhausted. -- in line so into the stairs. Knowing he could gain assistance from the crew below. Members -- squad five and -- twenty -- captain -- on down the stairs. As they were exiting captain who won was screaming that -- Carter was trapped in the fire on the second floor. -- -- McCormick had just exited the attic area. When he heard -- Carter was trapped in the -- acrid smoke and intense heat he immediately reacted the inferno. That was now the attic area in attempt to locate and assist his brother firefighter. He had did it to the searing heat and heavy flames went out to protection of -- hose line. Keeping his composure. In the unbearable conditions -- -- McCormick. Keating neat keyed in on the piercing shriek a -- it. Card is activated pass along. It led -- firefighter caught up who was unconscious lying still and barely breathing. The intense he had melted and getting in his head. Causing -- face -- to become dislodged. Firefighter McCormick did singlehandedly tricked firefighting carted to landing onto -- -- when he was assisted in carrying -- try to -- down the remaining states. Fight fight it caught it which suffered burns was revived by paramedics and transported to the hospital. During these tight -- fight fight at McCormick was rescue -- caught up. The hose line was open and unattended. -- -- rained down on five -- McCormick and caught up. He's recovering from his injuries and will be -- -- to duty shortly. Later that same day five -- McCormick respond to an early morning fire. In a heavily involved structure he and another member squad company five rescue to handicap civilian. These rescues are testament of the duty pride tradition code exactly exemplified by five quite -- McCormick. His courage and super human efforts were in accord with the highest traditions as Chicago Fire Department. And -- fire service. August 25. 2000 -- Firefighter Lawrence McCormick. Exemplified. The highest tradition. Of the fire service. When he employed quick thinking and executed courageous. Actions to rescue a fellow player fighter. He re entered a hostile environment. From which he had just been driven. Out. Without the protection of -- line and with it totally. Disregard for his personal safety. Firefighter McCormick displayed great courage and tenacity. In the performance of this rescue. If not for the heroic actions of firefighter McCormick. -- fighter Gerald Carter. Face certain death. Firefighter McCormick. And and -- dedicate to get dedicated -- aggressive action. In saving the life of another firefighters. Are in the highest tradition. Of the Chicago Fire Department. Fire for -- McCormick's presence of mind. Selflessness. And ability. To maintain his composure. Under extreme please stressful. And personally dangerous. Circumstances. Made him. A hero. And our. -- -- for this year of the ray -- Medal. And the 35000. Dollar check and it ahead. Here's a look a little of Larry's background. Larry is a sixteen year old veteran. Of the fire service. He began his career in the fire service is a volunteer. With four. With the worst fire department. In 1996. Larry became. A full time paid fire fighter with the Oakland fire department. -- work until 2004. It in 20040. Larry became a member of the fired -- program in new York and was assigned to ladder trying six in the Bronx. The FF DN wise. Busiest and most decorated truck company. In 2006. Larry left New York. And became a member of the Chicago Fire Department. Where he was assigned to hook and ladder number -- In 2007. -- was assigned to squad. The company five the busiest. Heavy rescue company in the city of Chicago. During Larry's -- He has received several prestigious awards. Including. Six Chicago fire commissioner. Unit citations. He was honored twice by the mayor of the city. And and the City Council in the form of resolutions including the actions. He took it in the rescue. Of -- non -- is handicapped civilian. From basement fire the same day as the rescue firefighter. Carter. Larry was also the recipient of the academic achievement award. And was valedictorian. Of his issue is Chicago Fire Department. Academy class. And and voted by his fellow students. For the Eugene -- award for leadership. -- -- -- Has been married to his lovely wife Jill protect it for ten years. Has two beautiful daughters. Matalin. Age three and Kristen -- one. For his extraordinary. Courage and dollar. -- well. And fire engineering are honored to present. Fire -- writer Larry McCormick. With the 2012. Ray Downey courage and valor. Medal award along with the 35000. Dollar check from fire engineering courage and valor foundation. It gives me great pleasure. To introduce. Do you. Our award -- for the 212 Chicago firefighter. Larry McCormick. Morning. I'd only like to think -- ballplayer engineering magazine keep Bobby -- and -- in the for the Saturn. It is deeply appreciated it certainly more than I deserve. I accept this award on behalf of everyone that I operated still -- point five V6 located at 7032 -- Justine. And Chicago's south side. Because everyone on the fire ground executed a coordinated -- tech -- firefighter Jimmy came engine company 54. And attack -- logic squad company five. We were able to remove the -- -- distressed prime material car. I like to acknowledge firefighter paramedic -- -- of engine company -- Eckstein whose quick thinking and EMS skills without question save -- Carter's life. Which you kind of -- -- that a couple of special thank used to my wife Jill thanks for your patience understanding and friendship loyalty and love. And thank you for the greatest -- a guy can ask for my kids -- -- Houston and now. -- Mac do next month. I did the hard work. Thanks to my mother and the rest and McCormick plan for the love and support and not. It like to dedicate this -- it to my father Tenet -- McCormick who passed away a year ago this month. Even though he was the second generation policeman. In -- he had sickly steered me towards the fire service. I guess he knew he he checked the wrong box so. He did. So thanks to my friend -- -- their oak -- fire department chief operations times -- venal. About a firemen and have more importantly betterment and when you think you to the -- mean for this -- Chicago deputy district chief Bob McKee. Chicago firemen rich decks like -- five and retired lieutenant Michael Rico you'll want her arm. And thank you to everyone who came up from Chicago the suburbs and everybody else that -- your camaraderie brotherhood and support. And real quick god. A tip of the helmet congratulations to recently retired. Chicago fire commissioner Robert Hoffman 36 years of sweat sector. Like service. -- outstanding. Not only is she -- the most decorated member and see if the history he. Literally wrote the book on saving our own. Title firefighter -- survival. Which is ironically published by -- -- Just a little. Something -- -- and just to let everyone else fireman Joseph Carter's back to full duty at the firehouse and in his first they back -- house. He has to captain to be on a pipe you wanted to be an announcement in and that to me is a perfect example of Kurds now -- so. Thank you all god bless you and your families and please keep the members of the Philadelphia fighter permit in FT line thoughts and prayers.

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