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Mt Pleasant Fire Chief Larry McRae Presents Medals Of Bravery And Valor

Medal of Bravery:
From left to right: Deputy Chief Aristeo Rodriguez, Driver/Operator Casey Sanders, Firefighter Aaron Williams, Firefighter Zachary Baker and Firefighter Cody Craig. 

Medal of Valor:
From left to right: Deputy Chief Brad Eubanks, Firefighter Trevor Jessee, Captain Phil Fry and Firefighter Riley Russell.

Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Larry McRae presented the Medal of Valor and the Medal of Bravery to Mount Pleasant Fire Department members during the February 15 City Council meeting.

Captain Phil Fry, Firefighter Bradley Stockinger, Firefighter Trevor Jessee, and Firefighter Riley Russell received the Medal of Valor for the bravery and courage exhibited during a structure fire on November 26, 2021.

Upon arriving at the scene, they found a house engulfed by flames and smoke and learned that her grandfather was still inside from a girl who escaped. All efforts became focused on making a rescue. The victim was ultimately located and brought outside by the firefighters for immediate care by Titus Regional Medical Center EMS.

“Sadly, the victim succumbed to his injuries, but these firefighters gave him the best possible chance of survival with great personal risk to their own safety,” said Chief McRae. “They exemplified the highest traditions of the fire service and for those actions are being awarded the Medal of Valor tonight.”

Driver/Operator Casey Sanders, Firefighter Cody Craig, Firefighter Aaron Williams, and Firefighter Zachary Baker received the Medal of Bravery for their distinguished bravery and stamina in adverse conditions during an incident on March 31, 2021.

They arrived on a report of a man stuck in the School Street water tower. The onsite supervisor said the man had been inspecting the inside of the riser and was stuck 75 feet up. It was due to the motor malfunction on the chair lift that he was using.

The only way to access the man was from the very top of the water tower. So the MPFD crew quickly put a plan into place that required four fighters to scale the outside of the 230-foot tower and rig a rope rescue system on the top. It took each firefighter up to eight minutes to climb to the top.

Once their rigging was in place, three firefighters remained on top to operate the system, and one descended into the tower to guide the rope to the victim. Finally, after almost three hours, the victim and firefighters were safely on the ground.

“This was an incident that did not require just bravery and personal risk, but creative problem-solving in a crisis situation,” said Chief McRae. “These members of our department also exemplified the highest traditions of the fire service and for those actions are being awarded the Medal of Bravery tonight.”

Deputy Chief Brad Eubanks joined Chief McRae in presenting the awards. Eubanks was also on scene and assisting during the house fire incident on November 26, and Deputy Chief Aristeo Rodriguez.