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Fall River Fire Department to receive heroic Massachusetts Firefighter of the Year Awards



Photo courtesy of Kimberly Erickson

it has been a busy and heroic twelve months for the Fall River Fire Department. While the department has been appreciated by residents all year round, the state of Massachusetts is recognizing FRFD with heroic rewards for two incidents in particular.

On New Years Day 2019, Fall River Fire units were dispatched to Four Winds Estates for a reported car into the building. The car had driven directly into the machine/maintenance room rupturing the main natural gas service to the building. The ruptured line had ignited adding to the rapid spread of the fire. The service room was fully involved. Incident Commander DC Mellen had his crews attack the fire and shut the gas off. He discovered the car with two occupants, one who appeared to be alive. He redirected some of his operations to the extrication of the occupants. The crews held back the fire and rescued the victims by cutting the roof of the car off in very tight and dangerous surroundings.

Also on Thursday December 13, 2018 responders were initially dispatched to Route 24 northbound at exit 8 Airport Rd. for a rollover that quickly changed to a tanker truck rolled over onto another vehicle with multiple victims involved. Additional units were also dispatched. Upon arrival, the initial responding units were confronted with a severely crushed motor vehicle with the driver still inside, a 12,000 gallon gasoline tanker truck that was leaking, along with the tanker driver ejected lying in the road by the cab of the tanker truck. Swift action by the initial and following responders extricated the driver from the severely crushed motor vehicle and transported him to RI Hospital where he survived. They also rescued the deceased truck driver from the side of the leaking tanker truck to a safe position, all while laying a blanket of foam to prevent ignition of the leaking gas and preventing eco contamination.

The responding crews did all of this at a severe threat to their own safety due to the threat of ignition of the leaking tanker. They prevented a major catastrophe to the infrastructure of a major highway as the tanker was very close to an overpass that services the north end of Fall River and Freetown.

The awards ceremony is set to take place on Tuesday, November 26th at 10:00 a.m. at the Mechanics Hall, 21 Main Street, Worcester. The ceremony is hosted by WCVB-TV anchor Doug Meehan and in attendance will be Governor Charlie Baker, Lt Governor Karyn Polito, Undersecretary Jeanne Benincasa and State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.

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