Six firefighters to be honored for saving lives

Six firefighters to be honored for saving lives

May 16th, 2014 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News

Cleveland Fire Department Station Four, located at 2850 Keith St. was built in 1969 and expanded in 1976. The station - the city's oldest - will host an open house event on Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., as will the fire departments other four fire stations.

Photo by Paul Leach /Times Free Press.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Six Cleveland firefighters have received recognition for saving lives in the lead-up to the fire department's third annual open house on Saturday.

In a recent ceremony, Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland presented awards to the firefighters for saving two lives in March.

"This was our sole intent for running medical calls a few years back -- to make a difference in someone's life if we were able to reach them quicker than an ambulance," Cleveland fire Chief Steve Haun said.

During the ceremony, fire department officials described the two lifesaving incidents.

At 2:02 a.m. on March 16, Lt. Matthew Ford, firefighter Eric Otis and engineer Richard Lesniewski with Engine Co. No. 1 responded to a chest pain call on Chippewah Avenue and assisted Bradley County EMS personnel with cardiopulmonary resuscitation already in progress, Haun said.

At last check on March 31, the patient was recovering, officials said.

"We do not do this job for recognition, but when a crew is involved in something this special, they deserve a notice," Ford said.

Lt. Dennis Duggins and firefighters Joshua Duncan and Tim Walker with Engine Co. No. 2 responded to an emergency call to Michigan Avenue at 12:39 p.m. on March 20.

They discovered the patient receiving CPR from a co-worker, Haun said.

Relieving the co-worker, they resumed CPR and attached an automated external defibrillator to the patient. It took two shocks to restore a carotid and radial pulse.

A third shock had to be administered by Bradley County EMS personnel while the patient was en route to SkyRidge Medical Center, at which point the patient began to breathe again, Haun said.

All four Cleveland Fire Department stations will be open to the public on Saturday. Presentations will vary among stations, including displays of vehicle extraction equipment and a mock-up house filled with nontoxic smoke.

"Saturday is an opportunity for city residents to familiarize themselves with firefighters and the equipment they use," Haun said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Contact him at