2012 Public Recognition Awards

Fire Commission Meeting - August 23, 2012

Special Recognition and Presentation of Certificates

During this dedicated portion of the Fire Commission meeting, Chief Hayes-White spoke about each incident and presented certificates to the following members of the public for their outstanding efforts to recognize their fellow citizens in distress and unselfishly take the initial life-saving actions before the arrival of rescue crews.  


Colin Morneau
Nikhil Naidu

On March 15, 2009, Mr. Morneau and Mr. Naidu assisted San Francisco Fire Department crews in the recovery of a deceased victim in the waters of Lake Merced in San Francisco. Upon the request of the responding Battalion Chief for the use of their Dragon Boat, they went above and beyond the call to support SFFD crew members, as coxman and coach, in reaching and recovering the victim.

Marinell Fachnowitz
Michael Van Laningham
Diana Zietumian

On July 6, 2009, Ms. Fachnowitz, Mr Van Laningham and Ms. Zeitumian assisted in the rescue of a drowning victim at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Ms. Fachnowitz's daughters, Sophia and Simone, spotted the victim floating face down in the surf at the beach. She called 911 and summoned others in the area for assistance. Mr. Van Laningham, with total disregard for his own well-being, entered the water, pulled the victim to shore, and performed CPR, including unprotected mouth-to-mouth breathing, on the unconscious woman. Ms. Zeitumian assisted Mr. Van Laningham with the efforts to revive the victim by performing effective chest compressions. The medical team arrived, and with their assistance, the victim regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital.

Tyler Hellinge

On January 10, 2010, Mr. Hellinge was instrumental in the rescue of a gentleman from a rapidly sinking vehicle in the water at Gas House Cove in San Francisco. As he was jogging, he witnessed the victim drive his vehicle over a curb and down an embankment into the cold waters of San Francisco Bay. With total disregard for his own safety, he immediatley entered the water in his jogging clothes and extricated the gentleman from his vehicle, returning him safely to shore.

Heidi Hohner
William Dietch

On February 10, 2010, Ms. Hohner, Mr. Dietch and another individual assisted with the rescue of a man from a burning building. Upon observation of a fire at 1257 6th Avenue, the three broke into the structure and rescued the occupant.

Noah Burke

On April 18, 2010, Mr. Burke assisted with the rescue of a 14 year old girl from the surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. According to several witnesses on scene, he was responsible for saving the life of the young girl who was being pulled away from the shore by the strong rip tide and showing signs of distress and near drowning.

James Colangelo
Stephanie Haumueller
Joshua Scharton

On May 11, 2010, Mr. Colangelo, Ms. Haumueller and Mr. Scharton attempted to rescue a man who had fallen in the water at 41st Avenue and Chain of Lakes in San Francisco.

Hunter Chiles

On August 23, 2010, Mr. Chiles assisted in the rescue of a 14 year old boy from the surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. According to five witnesses to the incident, he was responsible for saving the life of the young boy who was showing signs of distress and near drowning.

Sean Scallan

On October 6, 2010, Mr. Scallan assisted San Francisco Fire Department crews with the rescue of a suicidal woman from the rough surf at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Upon observation of the distraught woman in the waters off Ocean Beach, he swam out aproximately 200 yards to her location on a rescue board and assisted SFFD rescue swimmers.

Lucas Martin

On October 14, 2010, Mr. Martin rescued an elderly neighbor from her burning apartment. Upon smelling smoke in the apartment building while he was at home with this infant daughter, he knocked on his neighbor's door and found it unlocked. He entered the apartment and heard his neighbor yelling for help. With complete disregard for his own safety, he located his neighbor and rescued her from her burning apratment.

Irina Akkerman

On February 12, 2011, Ms. Akkerman saved the life of a woman who was choking at the Hayes-Absinthe Brasserie & Bar. She witnessed a patron at another table choking and unable to breathe. She quickly came to the aid of the woman, performing abdominal thrusts and partially dislodging the obstruction to her airway, allowing her to breathe.

Frederic Lecouturier

On March 11, 2011, Mr. Lecouturier rescued a teenage boy from the extremely cold waters after the boy jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Upon witnessing a young man land in the water while he was surfing near the Golden Gate Bridge, he grabbed the boy, placed him on his surfboard and brought him to the area of Fort Point where emergency personnel were staged.

Anthony Lau
Junteng Mei

On December 7, 2011, Mr. Lau, Mr. Mei and another individual saved the life of a gentleman who suffered a heart-attack at the Wellness Center at San Francisco City College. They witnessed a patron exit the pool, experiencing chest pain, fall and hit his head on the lifeguard tower. The three quickly assessed the situation and performed life-saving CPR and defibrillation. The man regained consciousness.