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Banquet honors Hagerstown firefighters who rescued two people in two blazes

Retirees also recognized at event hosted by Hagerstown Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local 1605

March 19, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

Four Hagerstown Fire Department members were honored at a banquet Saturday night for rescuing two people from two separate blazes in the city last year and this year.

Charles Mundey, Joseph Chojnacki, Daniel Myers, and Allen Carpenter were honored during the banquet at the Fraternal Order of Eagles club at 18 N. Locust St., officials said.

Hosted by the Hagerstown Professional Fire Fighters IAFF Local 1605, the banquets are held periodically when a group of firefighters are retiring, city fire department spokesman Scott Baire said.

In addition to the awards that were given to the four firefighters, seven people who have retired from the city fire department also were honored.

The firefighters were honored for their actions in the following fires:

• When city firefighters arrived at a blaze at a duplex at 220 Summit Ave. on Feb. 2, 2010, flames were shooting through second-story windows, fire officials said.

Mundey, a fire apparatus operator with the city fire department, forced open a door on the home and entered without a fire hose, said Baire, who also is a fire apparatus operator.

Mundey found 48-year-old Doug Suder unconscious in the home and took him out into a hallway, Baire said.

Firefighter Allen Carpenter, with the help of firefighter Steve Jacobs, took Suder outside where he was treated, officials said.

Suder was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center for second-degree burns over 50 percent of his body and survived, fire officials said.

Hagerstown Police Officer Patricia Moulton also helped evacuate the duplex and helped another man escape the structure, officials said.

Mundey was awarded the Medal of Courage for his efforts and Carpenter was awarded a Certificate of Merit.

• In the second fire on Feb. 22, Joseph Chojnacki and Daniel Myers rescued an 86-year-old man from a basement of a home at 12809 The Terrace.

The basement was filled with smoke and flames, but Chojnacki and Myers, both fire apparatus operators, managed to get Delbert G. Summerville out of the house, Baire said.

Summerville died the next day at Meritus Medical Center near Hagerstown.

Chojnacki and Myers were awarded Certificates of Merit Saturday night.

Firefighters entering a burning room in a house can face temperatures of about 600 degrees, Baire said.

And "you can have 1,200 degree temperatures around the ceiling," Baire said.

Even wearing protective suits and air packs, firefighters have to act quickly in such situations because of the intense heat, Baire said.

 Depending on the intensity of the fire, parts of the body such as elbows and shoulders can push against the inside of fire suits and be burned, Baire said.

Also honored Saturday night for their years of service were the following retirees: Deputy Chief Ronald Horn, 35 years; Battalion Chief Randy Myers, 32 years; Fire Apparatus Operator Robert Herr, 32 years; Fire Apparatus Operator Larry Koons, 30 years; Fire Apparatus Operator Franklin Ridenour, 30 years; Fire Apparatus Operator Jerry Cunningham, 29 years; and Public Educator Michael Weller, 29 years.

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