It is with great pride that we report that our very own Bill Hawkins received a Valor Award at the April 25th Awards Luncheon for his efforts to rescue two trapped workers from a sewer. He has also been awarded a 2007 Firehouse Heroism Award from Firehouse Magazine.
On September 19, 2006 units responded to the 10100 block of Marlboro Pike for a report of two unconscious workers in a sewer. Personnel found two workers unconscious in the bottom of a 15-20 foot sewer shaft with the only exit being the manhole. One of the workers was partially submerged in the sewer shaft.
The first arriving units were firefighters from Forestville Station 23 and the Breathing Air Unit (BA45), operated by Public Service Aide Bill Hawkins. Typically, BA45 responds to major fires and reports to Fire/EMS stations throughout the county filling firefighters breathing apparatus bottles with fresh air.
BA45 was in the immediate area when the call was dispatched and responded in a very timely fashion. Immediately upon arrival, Bill Hawkins deployed a high pressure breathing air supply line into the sewer and thereby supplying large amounts of fresh air to the two unconscious men. Almost immediately, one of the workers responded to the fresh air and started to respond. He became conscious enough that when firefighters lowered a rescue rope, he was able to fasten the rope around his still unconscious co-worker.
Firefighters were able to pull both victims from the shaft and paramedics initiated the treatment of both patients.
We’re very proud of Bill for his quick thinking. Congratulations on a well deserved honor.