2009 Meritorious Conduct Awards - Letters of Commendation


Lt. Kevin O'Sullivan Off-Duty


On September 10, 2003, while on a flight returning to San Francisco from Hawaii, Kevin O'Sullivan responded to the flight crew's urgent request for medical assistance. A fellow passenger had developed severe respiratory distress which quickly progressed into cardiac arrest. Mr. O'Sullivan directed and participated in the application of the Automatic External Defibrillator and administered CPR. He worked tirelessly with a physician's assistant and an operating room nurse, for two hours, until the plane landed and resuscitation efforts were terminated.


Lt. Bradley L. Rey Engine 1


On May 29, 2005, crews were dispatched to a call that had been upgraded from a medical call to a jumper at 160 Eddy Street. Lt. Rey found a man who had jumped from the 3rd floor and onto an unstable business sign on the 2nd story. The man's wrist was being held by a police officer from a second story window. Lt. Rey called for a 22ft ladder, ascended it and, supporting the victim's weight, assisted crews in tying off the subject with a safety line. Lt. Rey maintained his position on the ladder and continued to support the victim until an aerial ladder was deployed, preventing him from falling or jumping to the ground.


FF John E. Faulkner Off-Duty


On March 10, 2006, John Faulkner heard news that the partner of his co-worker, Peter Leonard, was missing and presumed drowned in a lake. Mr. Leonard was attempting to search the lake himself because he had not received any assistance from local authorities, who were waiting 72 hours before declaring Mr. Leonard's partner of 19 years a missing person. Mr. Faulkner drove to Clearlake on his own to help Mr. Leonard search for his partner. Once there, Mr. Faulkner used materials from the local hardware store to construct a dredging device. After several attempts he was successful in finding and removing the man's body from the water.


FF Donny Bendo Engine 1
FF/PM Raymond Schnelker Engine 1
FF Theodore R. Creighton Engine 1


On July 18, 2006, Engine 1 was returning from a call when they witnessed an assailant knock down an elderly woman and take her purse. The crew, FF Bendo, FF/PM Schnelker and FF Creighton, immediately gave chase to the assailant with the assistance of an off-duty SF Police Officer while Capt. Eugene Murphy provided medical attention to the woman. They apprehended the suspect and were able to return the purse.


Capt. John J. Forbes III Engine 32


On August 14, 2006 at the scene of a fire incident that had just concluded, Capt. Forbes witnessed a purse snatching, reported it to SFPD and joined in the pursuit of the assailant. He tackled the suspect within one block of the theft and held him until arrival of the SFPD.


Lt. Bradley L. Rey Truck 1
Lt. John A. Hickey Rescue Squad 1


On September 17, 2006, crews were dispatched to a jumper at 896 Market Street. Lt. Rey and Lt. Hickey worked together to prevent the man from jumping. Lt. Rey went around the side of the man while Lt. Hickey distracted him by talking to him and attempting to shake his hand. When the man stuck out his hand for Lt. Hickey to shake, he grabbed his hand while Lt. Rey jumped on the man and brought him down to safety.


Lt. John G. Shanley Lt. Lawrence Zammarchi Capt. Michael B. Charlton
FF Manuel F. Alvarenga FF Robert Ramirez FF Joseph M. Horton
FF James B. Draper FF Marciel O. Rivera FF Keith R. Baraka
FF Eigil Qwist FF/PM Mike G. Estrada FF Jason W. Bland
    FF David E. Amituanai
Capt. Brian R. Brady PM Armando D. Limon Capt. Brendan A. Ward
FF Derek B. O'Leary PM Dennis M. Frazer ISS Mark R. O'Connor
FF Shon M. Buford    
FF John R. Sikora RESCUE CAPTAIN 1  
  RC Sebastian E. Wong  


On October 14, 2006, units were dispatched to the Church Street MUNI Station for an individual trapped under a MUNI car. Engine 36 and RC3 were first on the scene and crews immediately got under the train to assess the patient and administer life saving procedures. The crews also assisted with extrication efforts as other units arrived on the scene. The train was inside the station and the individual trapped was under the middle of the train, making patient care and removal extremely difficult. Crews worked in a very coordinated and professional manner to avoid further harm to the patient, or damage to the train. The patient was successfully extricated 44 minutes after the crews had arrived on the scene.


FF Eric T. Tanimura Off-Duty


On January 31, 2007, Eric Tanimura and co-worker, Marciel Rivera, were on Ocean Beach when they noticed a fellow surfer caught in a rip current. They notified 911 and grabbed safety equipment while keeping an eye on the distressed surfer. Mr. Tanimura gave arriving SFFD units information while Mr. Rivera ran to the beach get into position to swim out to the victim. Mr. Tanimura quickly joined him as they both rode the rip current out to the victim and brought him back to shore safely. Their quick and skillful actions possibly saved this surfer's life.


Lt. James C. Novello Capt. Michael V. Rolovich FF Thorin Shattuck
FF Emmon D. Lew FF John T. Sperry FF Sara Coe
FF Amador A. Herrera FF Sasha A. Grande FF Eric J. Botelho
FF Raycardo A. Aviles FF Lars A. Aspelin Lt. John G. Shanley
  FF Patrick F. Doherty  
BC Eugene T. Murphy    
ISS William A. Mulkeen    


On February 9, 2007, a motorized platform at 2238 Hyde Street was precariously hanging from the side of a building with three trapped workers. The crews of Engine 41, Truck 16, Rescue Squad 1 and Battalion 1 secured the platform and rescued all three workers through a 5th story window using the aerial ladder and other rescue equipment. The crew of Rescue Squad 1 freed a jammed cable from the motorized platform to allow proper operation to level the platform and further secure it.


Lt. Brian P. Rabbitt Off-Duty


On April 18, 2007, while on his way to work, Brian Rabbit observed an individual who had just fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run accident. Mr. Rabbit witnessed the perpetrator resisting arrest and, without hesitation, exited his vehicle and assisted the Police Office in apprehending the suspect.


FF Karen E. Kerr Off-Duty


On May 7, 2007 while in Bullard, Washington, Karen Kerr and off-duty Seattle Fire Department member, Penny Stone, observed a working fire in a nearby apartment building. Both women notified the dispatch center, alerted residents of the building and without the protection of protective firefighting gear and equipment, broke the window, entered the building and extinguished the fire before responding units arrived on the scene.


BC Robert T. Serrano Lt. John P. Guiral
  FF Anthony D. Yee
ENGINE 9 FF Chuteh M. Kotake
Lt. Leonel J. Tingin FF Larry A. Abella
FF Jack K. Chow FF Ricky M. Hui
FF Donyale M. Hoye  
FF Cynthia A. Faenzi  


On July 4, 2007, BC Serrano and the crews of Engine 9 and Truck 9 witnessed a purse snatching and took action that lead to the arrest of suspects and return of stolen property. E09, T09 and B10 attempted to block the getaway car, reported the license plate and were eventually able to positively identify the suspects.


FF Michael A. Rustia Rescue Squad 2
FF Floyd K. Rollins Rescue Squad 2


On August 14, 2007 at a Third Alarm fire at 412 Noe Street, FFs Mike Rustia and Floyd Rollins discovered one male resident trapped on the roof of the building. FF Rustia radioed to command that they needed a ground ladder thrown to the roof for a rescue. He stayed with the victim, sharing his air with him in heavy smoke conditions, while FF Rollins descended to assist with the ladder. Once the ladder was in place, FF Rustia assisted the resident down the steep ladder safety.


PM Irene Ager Off-Duty
PM Steve Ager Off-Duty


On August 16, 2007, while stuck in traffic, the Agers noticed a person lying on the ground nearby who had been struck by a car. They quickly assessed the victim and gathered information. They maintained manual c-spine, log rolled the patient, opened the airway and provided assisted respirations with a bag valve mask. The condition of the patient immediately improved due to their interventions. The patient was transported to the hospital, where the victim was found to have suffered a head injury. Ten days later the patient was sent to a facility for rehabilitation.


FF Meibeck Chung Off-Duty


On October 12, 2007, at a gym in Oakland, CA, Meibeck Chung noticed an unresponsive person being pulled from the pool. Ms. Chung assisted, assessing the patient, who was determined to be pulseless and without respirations. Ms. Chung performed initial life saving CPR until the Oakland Fire Department arrived and took over patient care. The patient survived this incident.


BC Edward Roland Battalion 8


On December 25, 2007, units were dispatched to the San Francisco Zoo for a tiger attack. Under the direction of SFPD and BC 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.


Lt. Andrew Assereto Engine 41
FF Paul B. McDermott Engine 41
FF Raymond Ng Engine 41
FF Gregory T. Stangland Engine 41


On December 31, 2007, Engine 41 responded to a fire at 1385 Clay Street. Lt. Assereto noticed smoke coming from the 3rd floor kitchen and that there was no standpipe on the building's fire escape. They made an immediate interior attack to extinguish the fire and conducted a primary search. They discovered a resident who found refuge from the smoke and flames on the fire escape, after suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. The person was initially conscious and talking, and was brought down by the crews for medical evaluation. The patient's vital signs quickly deteriorated and intubation was required. Once in the hospital, the patient was placed on a respirator for four weeks until making a recovery.


FF Francisco A. Ochoa Engine 11
FF/PM Daniel L. Verhage Engine 11


On March 17, 2008, while performing fire operations at a Fourth Alarm fire at 1476 Valencia Street, Lt. Hupke's helmet and mask were knocked off and he became disoriented and hypoxic. FF Ochoa and FF/PM Verhage assisted Lt. Hupke to safety, bringing him down from the 4th floor to the street. Working in very difficult conditions, these firefighters saved Lt. Hupke from major injuries and possibly saved his life.


RC Scott McGehee Off-Duty


On June 18, 2008, while off-duty, Scott McGehee witnessed a motorcycle accident at 8th and Folsom Streets. The patient had a significant head injury and was having trouble breathing due to his injuries and obstruction from his helmet. Mr. McGehee quickly removed the helmet and, using a jaw thrust maneuver, improved the patency of the patient's airway. Within minutes the patient was breathing spontaneously. Mr. McGehee's quick and appropriate actions likely prevented this patient from having a significant hypoxic event.


FF Manuel F. Alvarenga Rescue Squad 2
FF Walter P. Villavicencio Rescue Squad 2
FF Ethan H. Jackson Rescue Squad 2


On August 23, 2008, Rescue Squad 2 was dispatched to a bay rescue of an attempted suicide victim at Pier 26. FFs Alvarenga and Villavicencio entered the water, assisted by FF Jackson, and made contact with and secured the victim within one minute and fourteen seconds. With the help of the Coast Guard rescue boat, the victim was brought to safety. Their quick and decisive action in this night rescue saved the life of this woman in distress.