Chesterfield, Missouri…Monarch Firefighter/Paramedics Jeff Burle, Steve Hahn, Jason Herin and Mike Underwood have been awarded a Class II Silver Medal by The Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association for rescue-evacuation of 14 people, including children, their mothers, an elderly man and a dog from a multiunit apartment fire in Chesterfield on July 27 2012.
Monarch Acting Capt. Dan Hinson was awarded a Class VII Certificate of Merit by the Chiefs Association for his leadership in those fire rescue operations.
The fire rescue-evacuation occurred in apartments at 1633 Wishwood Court in Chesterfield with little or no visibility for the Monarch rescue team as smoke banked down nearly to the floor.
Firefighter/Paramedic Mike Underwood said, “The biggest challenge of that fire is that it was dispatched as a routine medical call, reported as someone having difficulty breathing. A rescue squad was dispatched, which is standard protocol for someone reported in respiratory distress. As we arrived, we instantly smelled smoke. When we entered the apartment door, we found heavy smoke banked down to just above the floor. We instantly switched from running an EMS call to fire rescue operations. This occurred at 1:45 a.m.
“The rescue squad assisting us on the medical call did not contain any water or fire hose because our rescue vehicles carry equipment necessary to respond to confined space incidents, trench collapses, building collapses, specialized auto extrication equipment, but no fire suppression equipment. Acting Capt. Dan Hinson instructed our team to put on personal protective equipment and SCBA’s so we could begin evacuating the apartments. He then requested a second alarm for dispatch of fire suppression apparatus to the scene. Firemen with the apparatus contained the fire, kept it from running the attic space and consuming the rest of the building.
“This rescue is a testament to the highly trained professional employees of Monarch Fire Protection District who relied on our training upon arrival and reacted to the unexpected apartment fire that we encountered,” Underwood said. “The majority of these rescues took place without the protection of a hose line and under heavy fire conditions. Every member of our team is honored to have been recognized by Greater St. Louis Area Fire Chiefs Association.”
Monarch Fire Protection District Firefighters/Paramedics are members of the Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri IAFF Local 2665 and serve large parts of Chesterfield, Ballwin, Clarkson Valley, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Wildwood and parts of unincorporated St. Louis County, Missouri.
For more information, contact Andrew T. Stecko, 3rd District Vice President, Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri, IAFF Local 2665, at 636.368 .6123 or see the website monarchfirefighters.org/.