Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Leadership

Liberty Mutual Insurance Honors Firefighters with National Firemark Award and Grants

Celebrating America’s firefighters for their bravery and commitment to fire safety, Liberty Mutual Insurance today announced recipients of its 2014 National Firemark Award. Firefighter Jordan Sullivan of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), Brooklyn Ladder Company 105, is being honored with the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Heroism, and Lyle Dorschied longtime firefighter and current president of the La Farge Volunteer Fire Department in Vernon County, Wis., has earned the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Service.

In recognition of these exemplary firefighters, Liberty Mutual Insurance will present grants of $10,000 each to the New York City and La Farge Fire Departments. The FDNY will use the funds for training purposes while the La Farge grant will enable the department to purchase new helmets for its firefighters.

Sullivan and Dorschied were among 130 firefighters to receive a local Firemark Award from a Liberty Mutual Insurance office throughout 2014. These local honorees were eligible for the national award, and the winners were selected by a committee comprised of fire safety organizations; including the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the National Volunteer Fire Council, the National Fire Protection Association and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have firefighters like Jordan Sullivan and Lyle Dorschied serving in our communities,” said Anthony Storm, executive vice president and Chief Marketing Officer, Liberty Mutual Personal Insurance. “We thank and honor them with the Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for their invaluable efforts, spanning from a lifelong commitment to fire safety education in rural Wisconsin to life-saving rescues in New York City.”

Firefighter Jordan Sullivan was among the first responders to a fire in a residential building in Brooklyn after 2 a.m. on March 16, 2014. Sullivan was a rookie just three months in as a member of the New York City Fire Department. Soon after he arrived, he learned children were trapped inside.

Joined by fellow firefighters from Ladder Company 105, Sullivan moved expertly from room to room, staying low and without the benefit of visibility, since the building had been quickly overtaken by smoke and flames. Time was of the essence.  Within minutes, Firefighter Sullivan located a baby, unconscious in a crib, and carried him to safety. Handing the five-month-old boy to another firefighter who placed a mask on the baby then returned to the building to assist his fellow firefighters.  Days later, all children had fully recovered.

“Children are a gift- they’re our responsibility.  I knew when I went into the home what I had to do.  It’s what we train for every day,” said Sullivan.  “I’m truly humbled by this award and share it with my fellow firefighters who demonstrate this courage day after day.”

The FDNY will allocate the funds from the Firemark Award to support the initiatives of the FDNY Foundation which promotes awareness and outreach to the public, training and support of members of the FDNY to better protect all who live, work and visit New York City every year.  

In rural communities across the U.S., volunteer fire departments, like the one Lyle Dorschied is part of, are truly the lifeblood of the community. Since joining the La Farge Volunteer Fire Department in 1973, Dorschied has seen and done it all – and, all that while, with an unwavering respect for the community.

Today, Dorschied wears two hats, serving as president of the La Farge Volunteer Fire Department and continuing in his longtime role as a firefighter with the department. Whether he’s helping to raise $70,000 for a fellow firefighter fighting cancer to battling a fire for nearly twenty hours, Doschied’s commitment is always on display on both the front lines and in the community.   Among Dorschied’s favorite duties is lending his time and talents to the La Farge Volunteer Fire Department’s Fire Prevention program. Each year, he volunteers for the Pre-K through 2nd grade program at the fire station during Fire Prevention Week.

“After 41 years, Lyle still has the youthful enthusiasm he brought to the department back in 1973.  His commitment is unmatched. He is still the first one in the fire station for emergency calls. As much as any one person can define a department, Lyle defines the La Farge Volunteer Fire Department,” said Fire Chief Philip Stittleburg. “We are also so appreciative of the donation from this award which will help fund an important priority for the department – purchasing new helmets for our 30 members.