When a Fieldsboro home caught fire last year, three Bordentown Fire District No. 2 firefighters were dispatched for the reported structure fire but when they arrived on scene, they were soon dealt with unexpected circumstances.
Although it appeared that all of the home’s tenants were gathered together outside of the burning structure, one of the tenants reported that her son was nowhere to be seen and possibly still upstairs.
With only the three firefighters on-hand to devise a plan to attack the fire and save a potential life, they took immediate action.
As one firefighter remained grounded outside the structure to combat the flames with a fire hose, one entered the home via ladder to a window where the victim was believed to be located and another firefighter conducted a search through the home’s back door, the three men each took on a separate task to carry out their mission.
The two firefighters who entered the burning structure reported to have found the young man upstairs and proceeded to get him out of the building, and delivered him to EMS and paramedics.
In recognition of their efforts to not only to carry out multiple tasks on-site, the three firefighters: Captain Keith Scully, Lieutenant Kyle Asbrand and Justin Parker; saved the resident from the fire and were honored at the Bordentown Township Fire District No. 2 Commissioners Meeting on Feb. 5.
The three men were awarded with the fire district’s own Cross of Bravery, which is awarded to a member who, in the performance of duty, is confronted with personal risk and performed an act of distinguished bravery in the face of extreme fire conditions.
The district’s chief of department, Robert MacFarland, not only expressed his praises for his firefighters’ accomplishment, but their noted their ability to communicate and work together.
“If anyone of those guys had not done what they needed to do, the entire operation could have gone really bad for them,” he said. “But each one of them kept focused, relied on their training and experience, and did what they needed to do.”
MacFarland said that the tasks carried out by the firefighters that day would typically take two or three men per task to co carry out. Given the immediate circumstances of the situation, MacFarland accredited their instinctive abilities to carry out the operation working separately, but together.
“This fire was a particular set of circumstances that not every firefighter will face,” he said. “When you’re faced with it, they may have that hesitation or you may overthink or [underestimate] it, but these three guys relied on their individual experience, their training and I’m extremely proud of them that they went in without hesitation.
“They not only jumped into a burning building to try and save someone, but they knew what would be the most successful [operation]. Each one of them knew the greatest chance was the knowledge to stay, fight the fire as best as he could. They communicated and did three different missions all at the same time, individually. Each one of those tasks is a workload, but that’s where training and experience come back, and it’s a dedication to the job and the calling of being a fireman.”
As the three firefighters were bestowed medals and certificates at the meeting for their efforts, MacFarland said that the recognition for the men was not only representative of their bravery and courage, but it was symbolic of his entire department as well.
“I’m extremely proud of them,” he said. “Everyone who takes the oath to become a firefighter is giving up something. We’re all sacrificing something,” he said. “I’m real proud of them and the department, and I have no doubt that any of the guys in our department would do the same thing.”