Fort Worth Firefighters Honored for Bravery

Firefighters awarded for bravery in battling Feb. 19 fire

By Andrew Tanielian
|  Tuesday, May 15, 2012  |  Updated 7:25 PM CDT
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A team of Fort Worth firefighters won this year's

Andrew Tanielian, Fort Worth Reporter

A team of Fort Worth firefighters won this year's "Firefighter of the Year" award, normally given to an individual.

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Four Fort Worth firefighters are standing a bit taller after receiving the Vince Genovese Firefighter of the Year award from the Fort Worth South Rotary Club.

The firefighters were honored Tuesday for their bravery in battling a Feb. 19 house fire.

"We had heavy fire showing, and we were in an offensive fire attack mode," said Capt. J.W. Brunson of Station 5.

The alarm that sounded at 4:42 a.m. that Sunday woke up Brunson and three others. The four were geared and on their rig in 40 seconds and arrived on scene less than two minutes later.

They found two people who had escaped. One woman broke her arm after jumping from the second floor.

She told them someone was still stuck inside, and Branson and Frank Babich rushed up their ladder to the second floor.

The two went straight in with no hoses, looking for the trapped man. They found him unconscious in a stairwell surrounded by fire, lifted him up and carried him to safety.

The man would later die at the hospital of his injuries.

But the firefighters' quick thinking in getting him out and to paramedics made it possible for his organs to be donated.

A second man died before firefighters got to the home.

The team at Station 5 shares in both the success and frustration of that day.

"No one person is taking credit for anything or taking blame for anything," Brunson said. "We all just travel together and work as a team."

Each of the four firefighters received a plaque with the Vince Genovese Firefighter of the Year award, which is normally awarded to a single firefighter.

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