ATTLEBORO — Chief Scott T. Lachance is pleased to announce that 14 Attleboro firefighters have received the Governor’s Group Citation for Meritorious Conduct at the 31st annual “Firefighter of the Year” Heroic Awards.
The 31st annual “Firefighter of the Year” Heroic Awards was hosted virtually on Monday, March 8. The award ceremony honored firefighters from nine Massachusetts fire departments whose heroic acts of bravery and public service made a difference in their communities during Fiscal Year 2020.
During the virtual award ceremony, two groups of Attleboro firefighters were recognized with the Governor’s Group Citation for Meritorious Conduct for their response during extraordinarily difficult conditions.
The first group of Attleboro firefighters was recognized for their efforts in responding to a house fire on South Main Street on Thursday, March 19. At the three-story Victorian-style home, a lone occupant was trapped on the second floor. Under dispatch’s guidance, a crew from Ladder 1 was able to locate the victim immediately upon their arrival and rescue the victim from the second floor using the ladder.
For their heroic actions during this fire, Capt. David Hardman and firefighters Carl Aveira and Brian Sweeney received a Group Citation for Meritorious Conduct.
The second group of Attleboro firefighters was recognized for their efforts while responding to a car crash on South Main Street on Aug. 24, 2019. Upon their arrival, firefighters found a car engulfed in flames with the driver, who was unconscious, trapped inside the car.
Engine 5 worked to extinguish the fire while Ladder 1 stabilized and ventilated the vehicle and Rescue 1 began rendering medical aid to the unconscious and severely injured driver. After extinguishing the fire, firefighters were able to extricate the victim. The time it took between arriving on the scene and loading the victim into the ambulance was just 16 minutes.
For their outstanding effort, teamwork and efficiency in executing a dangerous and complex rescue, the Commonwealth presented the following firefighters with the Group Award for Meritorious Conduct: Deputy Chief Dennis Perkins, Lt. Timothy Infante, Lt. Bruce Tondreau, firefighters Marcio Barcelos, Brian Dubuc, Russell Sanford and Brian Sweeney, and firefighters/EMTs Ryan Bielawa, Cameron Eames, Matthew Ethier, Justin Jackson and Nicholas Walker.
“Words can’t even begin to express how proud I am of all of these firefighters who showed courage during these extremely difficult and dangerous incidents,” Chief Lachance said. “Their efforts proved to be life-saving on both occasions, and for that I can’t thank them enough. Each and every one of these firefighters is a highly‐trained and compassionate first responder who I am proud to have as a member of our department.”
The other recipients of the Group Award for Meritorious Conduct were teams of firefighters from the Chicopee, Fitchburg, Hanson, New Bedford and Reading Fire Departments.