LADDER 147 2009 AWARD WINNER
On February 6th, 2009 at 1409 hours, Box 1552 was transmitted for fire in a private dwelling. L-147 was assigned 2nd due. E-248 arrived and transmitted a 10-75 for fire on the 2nd floor of a 3-story non-fireproof mixed occupancy. L-147 was assigned to the floor above. As L-147 made entry into the dwelling, the first due truck was in the process of gaining entry into the fire apartment. E-248 was also in the process of stretching their line to the fire apartment. FF Gies, who was assigned the forcible entry position along with L-147’s officer and can man, proceeded to the floor above. The conditions were bad and they were met by heavy smoke and high heat.
FF Gies made his way to the apartment door above the fire and began forcible entry into the apartment. The conditions in the apartment were bad, visibility was zero and the heat forced Gies to his belly. At this time L-147’s OVM reported that the rear windows were barred by heavy duty gates mounted to the outside of the windows. Knowing that the apartment door was probably his only means of egress, FF Gies continued his search. He made his way to the kitchen area that had an entry way that was less than two feet wide. FF Gies continued through the kitchen and on into a room in the rear. Upon entering the room, FF Gies came upon an unconscious male face down wedged between a couch and a table. He called to Capt. Rigoli, L-147’s officer, then transmitted a 10-45 over his handy talkie to Battalion 41. FF Gies began to untangle the victim from between the couch and table. At this point FF Gies knew he would have to rely on his training and firefighting to know how to remove the victim. So by himself, he began to drag the victim through the very narrow kitchen. With conditions still poor in the apartment, FF Gies now met up with Capt. Rigoli and together both men removed the victim to the street. As the victim was placed on the sidewalk, FF Gies began to check for vitals and prepared to start rescue breathing, before EMS relieved him.
The victim, Barry Abdouahahone, was transported to Kings County Hospital, then eventually to the Hyperbolic Chamber of Jacobi Medical Center in critical condition. Unbeknownst to the members operating, the building was illegally converted to an SRO. The victim had no access down the stairs due to fire and was unable to escape due to the SRO conversion. The victim is alive today thanks to the actions of FF Gies. FF Gies is the son of Lt. Ronnie Geis who died heroically on September 11, 2001. His father would be proud.