For Dan Ramos, battling blazes in Chicago is ‘an average day at the office.’ A dedicated Chicago firefighter and emergency medical technician for ten years, Dan was nominated by the Chicago Fire Department to recognize brave actions he took on December 1, 2018 in response to a multi-unit house fire on North Laramie Avenue.
While the firefighters were en route, the fire was escalated to a Still and Box alarm, which indicated that the incident had escalated to an active, multi-unit fire with persons trapped in the rear of the building.
Dan explains firefighting as a team effort, in that “in advance of a fire [response], all the firefighters seated on the rig know based on how they are seated what area of the building they are assigned once we arrive. For that fire on North Laramie, I knew I was headed to the rear of the building.”
When Dan’s company arrived, the fire had engulfed the building and victims were actively trying to escape. He immediately took to his assigned duty at the rear of the building. Dan sprang into action and tried to force entry through the rear door. There were several locks and chains prohibiting entry and when he finally broke through, he noticed heavy furniture and a victim who was barely conscious obstructing the door. This made entering the smoky, fiery home extremely difficult. At last, Dan managed to stick his head in the doorway, and saw a woman looking at him, desperate and unable to breathe.
Time was critical, so under extreme heat and nearly zero visibility conditions, Dan made a quick risk vs. reward decision. Now putting himself in danger, Dan had to carefully push against the doorway resistance, and squeeze past the obstructed entry to gain access to the victim. Once in the burning home, the door unfortunately shut behind him and he knew he had just seconds to get the victim out. Although difficult, he was able to move the furniture and victim away from the door and used his Halligan bar, a forcible entry tool, to get himself and the victim out of the home. He took the victim to the safety of awaiting EMT’s to continue life-saving measures. Due to Dan’s quick thinking and heroic actions, the victim of a tragic home fire survived her injuries and lived to see another day.
Dan humbly says, “Everything is a team effort on firefighting operation[s]; all on the team rely on each other to get everyone out safely and extinguish the fire.
The Firefighter Award is presented to a professional, volunteer firefighter(s), or medical personnel related to dispatch operations at a fire department who acted above and beyond the call of duty, exhibiting heroism either in response to an emergency situation or through an ongoing commitment to the community.
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