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Seven Firefighters & Two Civilians Recognized for Their Heroic Actions in the City of Rensselaer

By JEFFREY BELSCHWINDER, Senior Correspondent | December 30, 2021 | NEW YORK

Story No. 123021105

RENSSELAER, NY - On December 5, 2021, a devastating fire occurred in the city of Rensselaer at 1204 3rd Street, with multiple reports of a victim trapped inside the home. Asst. Chief Brooking arrived on scene to find a house with heavy fire blowing into the afternoon sky and quickly requested the second-alarm, bringing in additional resources from the surrounding communities.

While these resources were responding, Asst. Chief Brooking directed firefighters to establish a water supply and additional firefighters to make entry to the home. Being shorthanded, two civilians stepped up to the plate, one of them being a past fire chief of the city of Rensselaer. The civilians assisted with establishing the water supply on scene, allowing for firefighters to make entry to the building with a hand line to knock down the heavy fire condition.

Before the firefighters on scene could establish the hand line to conduct suppression efforts, multiple firefighters entered the heavily involved building to search for the trapped victim with no hand line in place. During the search the victim was found and firefighters immediately removed the victim to awaiting firefighters outside of the structure. While the victim was being rescued, firefighters were knocking down the heavy fire condition behind them. The victim was first transported to Albany Memorial Hospital, and then brought to Albany Medical Center before being transported one more time to the Westchester burn center where the victim would later succumb to his injuries one week later.

The Mayor and Rensselaer City Council recognized the members of the Rensselaer Fire Department and the two civilians for their heroic actions that day, including Captain Steven Butler, Captain David Mooney, Firefighter Martin Moore, Firefighter Randy Cherubino, Firefighter Ryan Hannigan, and Firefighter John (Jess) Schumaker III for removing the victim and conducting suppression efforts; Lieutenant Robert Fink for initiating life-saving protocols, and Captain Steven Butler for utilizing the Lucas Cardiac Device on the victim during transport to the hospital. The two civilians recognized and commended for their heroic actions were Past Fire Chief Phillip Foust and Mr. David Martyn.

The Rensselaer City Common Council also commended all the firefighters for their quick thinking, bravery, and also encouraged all other citizens to show support and appreciation to firefighters who protect our lives and property so diligently throughout the year. All the firefighters and the two citizens received Proclamations of decorations from the city council.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.