Firefighters Honored for Sharing Harrowing Survival Story

Firefighters to be awarded Firemark Award for Heroism

By Frank Heinz
|  Monday, Dec 19, 2011  |  Updated 11:07 AM CDT
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Firefighters Honored for "Mayday" Call

NBCDFW.com

Capt. John Wright and firefighter Gus Trujillo are encouraging other firefighters to call for help when they need it.

Two North Texas firefighters will be honored Tuesday for heroism.

Flower Mound firefighters Capt. John Wright and Gus Trujillo will be honored Monday by Liberty Mutual.

Wright and Trujillo were working a house fire in June when they became trapped on the second floor.  Wright made a mayday call, the first in the department's history, to ask for help getting out of the burning home.

Trujillo, who was also trapped on the second floor, found Wright and the two found a nearby window.  Trujillo was able to squeeze through the opening, but Wright's airpack prevented him from slipping through the window.

"It had gotten to the point where I'd started to give up," Wright said. "I realized, 'I'm not going to get out. This is where I'm going to die.'"

Trujillo, on the roof, reached into the smoke one final time and ripped Wright's body through the window frame.

Wright's clothing was so hot that Trujillo's hand print was burned into his wrist where he was grabbing him. Today, the hand print of the man who saved his life is still seared into his flesh.

After recovering from their injuries, the men launched a campaign to spread awareness to other emergency workers to make "Mayday calls" for help before it's too late. Due to that effort, Liberty Mutual is bestowing upon the pair the Firemark Award for Heroism.

The Liberty Mutual Firemark Award is presented annually to hundreds of firefighters throughout the country who best represent their communities through courageous acts and who best demonstrate the firefighter's selfless spirit. And local Liberty Mutual Firemark Award winners, Wright and Trujillo will be considered for the 2011 Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award.  Two national winners - one honored for heroism, the other for community service/public education - will each receive a $10,000 grant from Liberty Mutual for their fire departments.

NBC 5's Scott Friedman contributed to this report.

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