Off-duty fire fighters honoured by the Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association

April 30, 2007
Written by Fire Fighting in Canada
Here are this year’s winners:
On March 30, 2007, The Toronto Professional Fire Fighters’ Association honoured Toronto fire fighters for their off-duty rescues at the association’s annual recognition luncheon at the Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto.
Here are this year’s winners:

The Bernard “Ben” Bonser Award:
Captain Doug Rogers
Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, made a rescue or was involved in saving the life of an individual in a hazardous or threatening situation. This year’s winner is Capt. Doug Rogers, Fire Station 343, B-Platoon, South Command, for his actions at a four-alarm fire. While driving to Fire Station 343 to report for duty, Capt. Rogers discovered smoke in the area of Dufferin Street and St. Clair Avenue West. He stopped to investigate and found a serious fire. He called 9-1-1 and began alerting tenants on the fourth floor. Captain Rogers could only withstand the heavy smoke, heat and flames for about 15 seconds before being forced to retreat. He then organized the evacuation of the third floor. Upon arrival of Pumper 343, Capt. Rogers assisted in size-up for incoming crews to expedite fire attack as well as search and rescue operations. The fire quickly escalated to a four- alarm, involving 27 fire units and 100 fire fighters. Five dramatic rescues were performed. Damage was estimated to be $350,000. Fortunately, no deaths or injuries occurred,  likely due to the quick notification, evacuation and size-up information provided by Capt. Rogers.

The Roy Silver Award:
Fire fighter Paul Assaf and District Chief Roy Law
Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, performed first aid or CPR. The winners of this award are Fire Fighter Paul Assaf, Fire Station 214, D-Platoon, East Command, and District Chief Roy Law, Fire Station 111, A-Platoon, North Command.
At a hockey tournament at Scarborough Ice Sports, Fire Fighter Assaf and District Chief Law performed CPR on a 17-year-old who collapsed from a cardiac arrest. Despite their valiant efforts the youth did not survive.

Al Pearsall Award:
Fire Fighter Chris Burrell
Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, contributed time and effort toward the improvement of his or her community. This year’s winner is Fire Fighter Chris Burrell, Fire Station 234, D-Platoon, East Command. Fire Fighter Burrell organized a band of firefighters called FireSound that recorded fire-related hit songs, produced a CD called Burning Love, and performed live. Total proceeds of about $20,000 were donated to Muscular Dystrophy Canada.

Box 12 Award:
Fire Fighter Ron Weltman
Awarded to a Local 3888 member who, while off duty, volunteered his or her efforts to directly benefit Toronto fire fighters. This year’s winner is Fire Fighter Ron Weltman, Fire Station 426, D-Platoon, West Command. Inspired by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and his trip to New York City for the fire department memorial service, Fire Fighter Weltman began a project to have the traditional style helmets reinstated by the Toronto Fire Services. His interest, recognition of tradition, and perseverance helped reintroduce a classic symbol of fire fighting to the city, and paved the way for the creation of a new visual accountability system for fire fighting personnel. For the many hours he spent of his own time to help bring this to fruition, the Box 12 Association is proud to choose Fire Fighter Weltman at this year’s winner.

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