BRAVEST AWARD MEDALS

By STEPHANIE GASKELL

June 5, 2003 -- For the first time since Sept. 11, 2001, the Fire Department handed out its annual awards for the bravest acts of heroism in 2002.

Mayor Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta presented symbolic World Trade Center medals to three firefighters and an EMS worker. They accepted the medals on behalf of those who survived and helped with the rescue and recovery effort.

"I'm totally overwhelmed," said EMS Lt. Rene Davila, who was the first EMS supervisor to arrive at the towers that day. "I'm honored, but I'm still very saddened. I survived, but there were so many people who didn't. This is for them."

The FDNY's highest honor was given to Battalion Chief John Pritchard, a 33-year veteran who rescued a baby from a burning apartment in Flatbush. The Medal Day ceremony was canceled last year as the department tried to recover from the attack.


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