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Lieutenant earns Chief’s Award for heroic actions while off-duty

Post Date:06/26/2019 2:32 PM

Lt. Garry Zimmer of the West Chester Fire Department was presented with the Fire Chief's Award at the regular meeting of the West Chester Board of Trustees on Tuesday, June 25.

While off-duty on Saturday, June 15, Lt. Zimmer happened upon the scene of an auto accident in the City of Franklin, Warren County, where he assisted first responders in the rescue of a motorist from a burning vehicle. 

WCFD_6269-2“Once it was determined that the passenger front door would not open, Lt. Zimmer entered the smoke-filled vehicle through the rear passenger area and began helping the driver escape,” said Fire Chief Rick Prinz.

Lt. Zimmer climbed into the back seat of the burning vehicle and physically pulled the driver to the back seat, taking quick action to help save the individual from serious harm, said Chief Prinz. The driver was later transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The Chief’s Award is a special award given at the fire chief’s discretion only in certain circumstances where outstanding, meritorious service has been provided.

“Again we celebrate a West Chester Fire Department member’s selfless and courageous act to help another person in need,” Chief Prinz said. The award was last bestowed in December 2018 to Lt. David Eberhard who, while also off-duty, helped rescue a choking infant at a restaurant.

“All of our members are highly trained and skilled, but it is our compassion for humanity and our willingness to put ourselves in harm’s way at a moment’s notice to help another in dire need that sets the West Chester Fire Department apart.”

Watch dashcam video of the emergency response, provided courtesy of the Franklin Police Department.

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