At a ceremony on Boston Common on Monday, Fire Department Commissioner Roderick Fraser issued the Marathon-colored commendation ribbons — four yellow bars for each of the dead set on a blue background — to honor about 150 Fire Department personnel who responded to the bombings, reports The Boston Globe.
“This was a very traumatic event for the entire city, and for those who responded,” Fraser said. “There’s no question that the quick actions of firefighters saved lives. This was a small way for us to say, ‘You did a great job that day, and thank you.'”
The Fire Department had 57 firefighters working near the finish line and sounded two alarms after the bombings on April 15, drawing nine engines, six ladders, and one rescue truck. The bars on the ribbon reflect the three people killed that day as well as MIT police officer Sean Collier, who was killed several days later.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been charged with using weapons of mass destruction to carry out the attacks, which injured more than 260 people. His brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged mastermind of the bombings, died on April 19 following a shootout with police in Watertown.
While dispatchers worked to ensure enough personnel made it to the bombing scene, firefighters worked quickly to dismantle jersey barriers separating spectators from runners and used whatever equipment they had to aid victims, many with horrific wounds. Some used their own belts to create tourniquets and improvised bandages to stanch wounds.
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