Department recognizes 3 life-saving firefighters

Man was trapped on second floor of three-decker


The ceremony included seven promotions in the Fire Department.

WORCESTER — As flames ripped through a May Street three-decker in the early morning of Feb. 3, Firefighter Stephen Fanning and Lt. Norberto Hernandez made their way to a man trapped on the second floor.

Firefighter Terrance Baudin attacked the rapidly moving blaze with a hose line, providing an escape route for the man and his fellow firefighters.

Worcester Fire Department members, family and friends gathered yesterday in City Hall to recognize the three firefighters for their leadership and action.

Firefighter Baudin, who remembered the whole rescue as occurring really quickly, said the firefighters were lucky to be able to rescue the occupant.

“We saw what we had to do and we did it,” he said.

City Councilor Barbara G. Haller recalled a fire that damaged her house many years ago. She said the firefighters are “truly important and vital to the well-being of the community.”

The ceremony also included seven promotions in the Fire Department. City Manager Michael V. O’Brien, who administered the oaths, expressed his gratitude to the firefighters and told them to continue to raise the bar.

Maurice Richesson, pinned his son, Samuel Richesson, as he was promoted from captain to district fire chief. The elder Mr. Richesson said he was bursting with pride, “not just for my son, but for the whole group.”

Capt. William O’Connell also was promoted to district fire chief; Lts. Shawn Wyse and John Silk were promoted to captain; and Firefighters Jeffrey Dubeau, Kurt Richard and Thomas Bull were promoted to lieutenant.

Olivia Bull, 4, had practiced pinning the night before the ceremony, and when it was her father’s turn, she bolted to the front of the room and landed in front of him with a leaping bound.

Fire Chief Gerard A. Dio addressed the gathering at the end of the ceremony, telling firefighters they have to be leaders and give a 110 percent effort all the time.

Chief Dio said the men and women in the Fire Department make it what it is.

“I’m just the shepherd leading the flock,” he said.

Dawn Bull watches as her 4-year-old daughter, Olivia Bull, pins her father, Thomas Bull, with the new lieutenant's badge during a ceremony at City Hall yesterday.
Photo T&G Staff/DAN GOULD