Lakeland Fire Department Celebrates its 2013 Firefighter of the Year Winners
Several Firefighter of the Year awards are given annually to firefighters who demonstrate an outstanding act of heroism or service to their communities. The awards are the Knights of Columbus Firefighter of the Year Award, the Sons of the American Revolution Heroism Award, and the Presidents Round Table Awards for Public Safety.
Winners for 2013 from the Lakeland Fire Department, which are nominated and awarded in 2014, are Firefighter/Paramedic Luis Hernandez and Driver-Engineer/Paramedic Mike Smith. These two firefighters were manning Engine 31 one fateful August evening when they were called to a general fire alarm call on the 800 block of Bella Vista Street. Upon arriving firefighters noticed signs of active smoke coming from a second story apartment. The door was locked with a dead bolt lock and although they called for forcible entry tools time was of the essence. To avoid any delay, FF Hernandez kicked down the door and both he and D/E Smith, who was serving as step-up Lieutenant that day, quickly entered the apartment to find an unconscious woman, with signs of burns and smoke inhalation. They quickly removed the woman and their quick thinking, action, and bravery is credited with having saved her life.
Firefighter/Paramedic Margaret Orozco is being recognized separately for her steady and significant work with both the state and national level Children’s Burn Foundation Camps.
They will also be honored at the Presidents’ Roundtable Safety Officer Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:30 AM at the First United Methodist Church.
These three amazing members of the LFD team were nominated by their superior officers. They will be honored for their heroism by the Sons of the American Revolution at a ceremony Saturday, April 19, 2014 at the Cleveland Heights Golf Club at 11:30 AM.
These firefighters embody and live the department creed of Duty, Honor, Integrity, and Trust. Their self-less service is invaluable and greatly appreciated by the entire department.
Thank you to these firefighter and congratulations!