2009 Meritorious Conduct Awards - Class B


FF Ramon Serrano Engine 8


On July 4, 2004, Engine 8 was flagged down by police saying that there was a man in the water at Brannan and Embarcadero Streets. As it turned out, two men were in the water. An older man was simultaneously clinging to a pier and to his son who was in great distress. FF Serrano stripped off his station uniform, descended the ladder Engine 8 had placed and jumped into the cold, rough bay water. Just as he was about to reach the victims, the father lost grip and the son slipped below the surface. FF Serrano retrieved the sinking victim and with the help of two police officers tied a rope around the son so he could then be lifted to safety. The father was removed up the ladder.


FF/PM Rita L. Kearns Medic 19
FF/PM Donnie Hornbuckle Medic 19


On December 25, 2007, units were dispatched to the San Francisco Zoo for a tiger attack. Under the direction of SFPD and Battalion Chief Ed Roland, Medic 19, RC4 and FF/PM Franzen from Engine 19 caravanned into the zoo to provide medical care for the reported victims. They were first directed to the tiger enclosure where they found the first tiger attack victim. In the dark, with a report that multiple tigers were on the loose, RC Boone and FF/PM Franzen exited their vehicle to provide medical care for this victim. After several minutes they pronounced him dead on the scene. The crews then caravanned to the zoo café where there was a report of another potential victim. They came upon another victim screaming and actively being mauled by a tiger. While SFPD officers were attempting to distract the tiger, the tiger turned its attention and moved towards the police who at that time shot and killed the tiger. RC Boone and FF/PM Franzen once again exited their vehicle to provide medical care to the victim. At the same time, a third victim walked up to Medic 19 and was immediately escorted into the back of the ambulance for medical care. FF/PM Franzen had to walk some distance to Medic 19 to retrieve a backboard for their second patient in order to stabilize and carry him to the ambulance for transport. All of these events transpired while crews believed there were other tigers on the loose.


FF John H. Danner III Off-Duty


On January 10, 2008, while off-duty, John Danner came upon a building at 911 Minnesota Street with heavy fire and smoke conditions showing. Before the arrival of the responding fire crews, Mr. Danner entered the fire building to rescue an elderly resident from the building who was then treated for smoke inhalation. This rescue occurred under extremely adverse conditions without the benefit safety equipment.


FF Daniel M. Bright Truck 5


On April 7, 2008 at 10 Bertie Minor Lane, SFFD units arrived on the scene of a working fire to find flames and heavy black smoke coming from the front and rear of the top floor of a 3 story residential building. There were flames coming from one of the front windows and a 93 year old woman leaning out of the other window with heavy black smoke billowing out behind her. Her grandson was watching from the street below. Firefighters Bright, Poydessus and Hipp immediately grabbed a 35 ft ladder and made a quick, coordinated and skillful raise over steps and bushes to place the ladder to her 3rd floor window. FF Bright quickly ascended the ladder and made a swift rescue of the woman just as she was starting to weaken and fall back into the heat heavy black smoke.


FF/PM Jonathan R. Huggins Engine 23
FF Octavio J. Leonardo Engine 23
FF Samuel H. Ho Engine 23


On December 29, 2008 at 5:07 in the evening, while at his home near Ocean Beach, civilian Christopher Stoehr heard that a sailboat that had run aground with its crew of three people in distress. He immediately grabbed his surfboard, entered the cold waters of Ocean Beach under dark, foggy conditions and, without concern for his own safety, began assisting the distressed victims. Upon arrival, the crew of Engine 23 observed Mr. Stoehr assisting the first victim and they too entered the water and brought the other two victims to shore. All three hypothermic and battered patients were successfully rescued and transported to the trauma center. Mr. Stoehr's heroic actions, along with those of the responding engine crew's, contributed to the positive outcome of the three victims that day.