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FDIC 2011: Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award

Wed, 23 Mar 2011|

Mr. Robert Biolchiini, CEO of PennWell Corp. presents the Ray Downey Jr. Courage and Valor Award to FDNY's Firefighter First Class Peter Demontreux .



It's now our honor and our privilege to pay tribute to the memory of our fellow fallen firefighters who were lost one decade ago on 9-11. By presenting an award that memorializes the name and legacy of Deputy Chief Ray Downey, one of the greatest firefighters, and one of the greatest leaders of our time. Please join mein welcoming the chief executive officer of Penwall corporation, the parent company of Fire Engineering and FDIC, Mr. Robert F. Biolchini. [SOUND]. It's always a great pleasure to be here to address you. The, before we start about the presentation, I want to welcome all of you who are my fellow Americans and our brothers the Canadians... And then I'd like to pay par, particular attention to our friends from India who came all the way over, and we are having a show in India in, in, with the hope of, of bringing the skills of your profession here over to India. And so. Welcome all of you and with that I'll start my little talk. I'm again honored to be here with you this morning celebrating the life and legacy of Chief Ray Downey by participation in the 83rd annual. Fire department instructors conference. This year, 2011, marks the tenth anniversary of one of the darkest days in our nation's history, a day of tremendous horror, but also a day of exceptional valor. Courage and sacrifice. And that sacrifice for almost all firefighters has continued to be the gold standard for your profession this entire decade. With that thought. In mind, it gives me tremendous honor to introduce you to a very important member of today's audience, the wife of Battalion Chief. Ray Downey. Mrs. Rosalie Downey. Rosalie please stand up. The, the, the, thank you Rosalie. And congratulations, and the dedication fo the Downey family as toward the FDIC and the fire profession is exemplary for all of us, so. We we appreciate you and honor your husband. And who's a wonderful friend and a deep, dedicated Christian, so thank you. 2011 marks the 15th anniversary of Penwell and fire engineering's direction. Of the FDIC conferences. On behalf of all of us at PennWell and Fire Engineering, welcome to the FDIC 2011 Conference and Exhibition, an event that North American firefighters. Have made the single largest and most important firefighting show in the world. Thank you for your participation and continuing support. Without you, we would not have a wonderful show and, and the great safety. Instructors that we have here, so thank you very much. As a CEO of Pennwell, I am very proud, yet really humbled to have so many professionals who put your lives on the line to be here, to be able to support and direct the most meaningful fire training. And educational event in the world. To deliver this world-class program, we have many great partners. I cannot possibly name all of them, but please accept my deepest appreciation to all whose sal, selfless efforts make this great conference possible. You have made FDIC an event firefighters around the world need and are proud and eager to support and be a part of. Further, I would like to extend a special thank you. To all of you firefighters here today, not only your participation during this special week, but also for your dedication to your duties throughout the year. Ensuring safety for your families, your friends, your community, and by placing yourself. In harm's way repeatedly when you are called. This morning I am once again deeply honored to participate in the presentation of the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award. Chief Ray Downey was an extraordinary man who thought. Who throughout his life personified fire service courage and valor. Chief Downey was famous for his accomplishments in his service to New York City as well as his service to Oklahoma City when we had the bombing. Of the Muress Center. And the nation, and yet he was a humble, but passionate, professional to the end. Gray was a man of great spirit. It was fun to be around him. he, I met him first time at, at this show many years ago. He was a, a humble man who repeated, during his illustrious career, many times that he was just doing his job. Firefighting was a job that Chief Downey took as seriously as his earlier commitment. To the United States marine court. It is the same spirit of dedication of duty, that this award bearing his name represents. The courage and valor foundation mission is to help honor an individual fire fighter. Each year whose actions reach extraordinary heights. The Courage and Valor Foundation and this perpetual endowment will assist the American fire services in continuing to recognize Chief Downey and those firefighters. Who bravely Who's bravery and actions in the, in the face of certain harm mirrored his. this morning we gathered to honor another true American hero. FDNY firefighter first rate Peter. D'Montroe. Firefighter D'Montroe recorded, recorded acts of bravery under light, life threatening conditions resulted in saving the lives of two men whom without his intervention, would have succumbed to a tragic fate. Firefighter Demontro actions reflect on the fire service ant its true values. So today we recognize him individually but in a greater sense his actions all of you are facing and performing each day when you are called. The Courage and Valor Foundation wishes to extend its appreciation and thanks to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, represented on stage here by Director Ray Sirnicky, and the National Fire Academy Alumni Association as President. Ron Kinnerman is standing here today with us as well. We are grateful to these men and their associations they represent for assisting in the Ray Downy Courage and Valor Award selection process. Now, please join me in welcoming FD&Y batallion chiefs. Joe Downey and Chuck Yaney raised sons for the presentation of the 2011 Ray Downey Courage & Valor Award. And by the way, they participate in the selection process and we in depth look at. Many, many who have who have been submitted as candidates. And, and they helped tremendously in discerning who has shown the most courage and valour. So I appreciate their taking the time each year to participate in the selection as well. And so thank you. [APPLAUSE] >> Thank you Bob. On behalf of the entire Downey family thankyou for continuing to memorialize the legacy of our father with this tremendously important award. Thank you also, Bob. This year marks the tenth anniversary of the tragic day of 9/11. It is a fitting coincidence that this year's award winner is a member of the FDNY, a firefighter whose heroics resulted in saving two lives. The actions of firefighter Peter Demontro whom we honor here this morning. Prove how training and dedication can result in the most important result, saving lives. >> That is right, Chuck. Firefighter DeMontro performed his duty gallantly under adverse and dangerous life-threatening conditions. By remaining calm and focused even though he himself was being exposed to extremely high temperatures. And at sometimes direct flame. His actions in those early morning hours exemplify the highest traditions of the fire service. >> But before we tell Fire Fighter Demantro's story we want to express our family's gratitude to the Courage and Valor Foundation. We would also like to thank the fire engineering advisors and staffers who are continuously on the look out for particularly courageous acts to request nominations. >> OK, the selection process has several components. Each involving firefighters from across the country. We receive reports of unparalleled bravery. And there's always an extremely difficult task to narrow it down to just one firefighter who's actions rose above all others. >> But in the final analysis again this year, there was one who stood above the rest. One candidate that my brother and I agreed reminded us by his actions of our father, Chief Ray Downing. And now to the 2011 recipient of the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award. >> In the early morning hours of August 30th 2010, Ladder 132 received a phone alarm reporting a structural fire at 175 Putnam ave in Brooklyn. While in route, Ladder 132, received several reports of multiple people trapped throughout the building. Engine 235 arrived first and transmitted 1075 for a fire in a four story brownstone. Ladder 132 personnel arrived as the first [UNKNOWN] truck and were met. With heavy fire at the front door, in the hallway, and up the stairway to the third floor preventing their entry until a hose line could be put into place. As Ladder 132's inside team waited on the front steps for a hose line. ...Other members of lab 132 were setting up an area for rescue of a man who was at the front window of the third floor with heavy smoke pushing out all around him. Firefighter Demantro climbed the aerial and pulled mr. Howell from the window. Firefighter Demantro was told by mr. Howell that his friend was still inside the burning apartment... Ladder 132's inside team was still waiting for a hose line, and unable to enter the stairwell. Firefighter Demontreux entered the third floor window via the aerial ladder, and began his search. Firefighter Demontreux was able to search the front room, but was forced to retreat back to the window because of the high heat condition. And there's zero visibility. Fire fighter Myers have rescued two, on the aerial ladder then vented the windows in the front of the apartment to allow some of the blistering heat and smoke to escape. This allowed firefighter Del Montro to resume his search with conditions improved slightly he was able to make his way to the rear of the apartment. When fire fighter Demontreux reached the rear, he discovered Mr. Mantoni hanging out a rear window to escape the heat. Realizing that there were no fire escapes or portable ladders in the rear, fire fighter Demontreux, without regard for his own safety, determined that the only way out was through the window which he came in. Through high heat and zero visibility, firefighter Demantro led Mr. Mantoni back toward the front window. When they were halfway through the apartment, the entire third floor exploded into flames, engulfing both men and setting them ablaze. Firefighter Mais of Rescue 2, still on the aerial at the window. Immediately transmitted a Mayday, believing that Fire Fighter Demantro and the victim could be lost in the fire. >> Demonstrating incredible bravery and selflessness, Fire Fighter Demantro, now himself on fire, made a conscious and calculated decision. The he would not leave Mr. Mantoni behind. Although he now found himself in a fully, in a fully involved room at extreme personal risk, he stayed with, with Mr. Mantoni and continued to assist him to the window. And the area ladder device for an escape. When they reached that window, firefighter Demontro again displayed incredible selflessness and bravery by resisting the urge to save himself first. Ignoring his immediate personal danger, intense heat, extreme personal risk, he pushed Mr. Mantoni out of the window and onto Ladder 132's ...Aerial ladder, before diving out the window onto the ladder himself. >> Firefighters from engine 219 were in the street below with a charged hose line. Seeing firefighter Demantro mister man Tony exiting on the ladder on fire, they opened up their hand line in an attempt to extinguish the flames... Firefighters on ladder 132 assisted firefighter Demontra with Mr. Mantoni down the ladder to awaiting medical assistance. Mr. Mantoni received burns over 50 percent of his body and continues with long term hospitalization. Little tongue tied there. Firefighter Dimitrov suffered first and second degree burns to his face and back. Upon inspection of all firefighter Dimitrov's personal protective equipment, was condemned for extreme amount of fire damage it sustained in the rescue. [SOUND] >> On the morning of August 30th, 2010. Firefighter Dimantro displayed great courage, determination, and tenacity, in the performance of this rescue. If not for the heroic actions of Firefighter Dimantro, Mr. Montony, would have faced certain death. Firefighter Dimantro's dedication and aggressive actions in saving the lives of another are in the highest tradition of FDNY. He demonstrated unfaltering focus. While being engulfed in punishing flash over conditions, and remained committed to saving the life of Mr. Montoni. Firefighter Demontreux's unfaltering dedication despite the intense heat, despite pain and risk to himself. Exemplifies the highest tradition of the fire service. Fire fighter Germantros' presence of mind, selflessness and ability to maintain his awareness under extremely stressful and personal, personally damage, dangerous circumstances, made him. A hero. Peter Demontro has been a firefighter with the FDNY for nine years. He is currently working in Brooklyn on ladder 132. His brother is also a member of FNDY, Lieutenant Louis Demontro and he is assigned to engine 154. Peter resides in Staten Island and it's wife Gena and his four children, Peter jr, Allison, Evelyn, and Gwyneth. For this, for his extraordinary courage and valor Pennwell, and fire engineering are honor to present fire fighter Peter Demontro. With the 211 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award along with a check for $35,000 from the Fire Engineering Courage and Valor Foundation. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you our awardees for 2011. FDNY Firefighter Peter Demontreux. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO] Come on Gina. We want you up. His wife ladies and gentlemen [APPLAUSE]

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