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Thread: Worcester Firefighter Rescue.

  1. #1
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Worcester Firefighter Rescue.

    Monday, March 31, 2008
    Firefighter pulls man from ice

    By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
    scroteau@telegram.com


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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Two city firefighters honored

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008
    Two city firefighters honored

    Bravery cited as Binette, Chestna are recognized

    By Scott J. Croteau TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
    scroteau@telegram.com

    WORCESTER— One was on the job, while the other was enjoying a day of skiing with his family when he saw something go awry.

    Both Worcester firefighters will be recognized, one with a commendation for his heroic efforts and the other with possible accommodations in Florida for his.

    Firefighter Robert Binette had just sat down to eat chicken wings and fries with his two young sons and wife at the Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton Saturday when he saw something flash across the window.


    An out-of-control skier went way off course and onto an ice-covered 20-foot-deep pond the mountain uses for snowmaking. The man — described by the firefighter yesterday as an adult male who was mentally ill — rested on top of the ice with his skis still on.

    Firefighter Binette, 38, yelled to employees of the restaurant to call the ski patrol and headed outside. As a member of the department’s Dive and Rescue Team, he has trained on ice rescues and knew what to do.

    “I just reacted,” he said.

    He admits the ski patrol would have gotten the man off the ice, too, but he just reacted faster. He looked at the tools used for ice rescue, tied off some rope and grabbed a carabiner and headed out. The man was about 75 feet out on the ice.

    With 200 feet of rope tethered to land, the firefighter scooted across the ice — still in snow boots — and reached the man, who was on his stomach. The firefighter quickly tied the rope to the man and pushed him across the ice as people on land pulled.

    “I didn’t trust the ice; I thought I was going in,” Firefighter Binette said. “I said, ‘Please let me get to him before we go through.’ I kicked his skis off and dragged him to safety.”

    It wasn’t until the pair was about four feet from shore that they went into the water. By then, they were both safe.

    “I think he had a guardian angel on his back,” Firefighter Binette said yesterday outside the Grove Street fire headquarters, moments before receiving a “job well done” from Fire Chief Gerard Dio. Fire officials said the firefighter will receive a commendation from the department.

    “He gave me a hug later on in the restaurant,” Firefighter Binette said of the rescued man. “That was recognition enough.”

    The whole incident took about two minutes and was recorded on camera by a ski instructor. Firefighter Binette believes the ice was about two inches thick. Mountain officials said it was about two feet thick.“My two boys saw it and they were proud of me,” he said.

    A member of Rescue 1, Firefighter Binette is sure another person is proud of his efforts — fallen firefighter Lt. Donald M. Quinlan, who died recently and was honored last week in a Line-of-Duty death ceremony.

    “He’d tease me, but he would be proud,” Firefighter Binette said. As Firefighter Binette spoke to local media about the Saturday event, Fire Lt. Mark A. Chestna was receiving applause from a group of firefighters outside headquarters yesterday.

    The lieutenant grasped a plaque in his hands, an award he’d received early yesterday morning from Liberty Mutual.

    The Firemark Award for Heroism — about 50 to 75 are presented each year nationwide — was given to Lt. Chestna by Jamie Burke, a personal sales representative at Liberty Mutual’s Westboro office. The lieutenant will now be nominated for the National Firemark Award; if he wins, he will receive a trip to Florida and Epcot at Walt Disney World, where Liberty Mutual has a Where’s the Fire exhibit.

    Lt. Chestna, who has received recognition by the state as well, was fighting a fire July 11 on Lake Avenue when he pulled another firefighter out of a burning basement.

    The two-alarm fire in the basement of a home at117 Lake Ave. started with heavy smoke in the basement. But as much as 10 gallons of gasoline ignited, sending Firefighter Craig R. Boisvert out of the basement. He was grabbed by firefighters training on Lake Quinsigamond and thrown into the water to put out flames on his gear.

    “Once the gas ignited it, (the basement) brightened things up,” Lt. Chestna said. “We could see our way out. Everything was on fire.”

    Lt. Chestna and Firefighter Paul K. Ronayne were heading out the bulkhead when Firefighter Ronayne got stuck. Lt. Chestna noticed his colleague was still inside and went back into the flames.

    “I just grabbed him and pulled him out,” the 44-year-old lieutenant said.

    Both firefighters’ gear was in flames and they were quickly hosed down.

    “The police officers on scene said they could not believe he walked back into the flames,” District Chief Frank D. DiLiddo III said of the lieutenant’s bravery.

    Firefighter Robert Binette received recognition yesterday for helping to save a skier who slid onto the ice at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area.
    T&G Staff Photos/MARK C. IDE
    other photo below.
    http://www.telegram.com/article/2008...65/1008/NEWS02

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    Firemark Award for Heroism

    Fire Lt. Mark A. Chestna, right, receives the Firemark Award for Heroism from District Chief Frank DiLiddo, left, and Jamie S. Burke, Liberty Mutual sales representative, yesterday at the Grove Street Station.
    T&G Staff Photos/MARK C. IDE
    http://www.telegram.com/article/2008...65/1008/NEWS02

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