Ah, and here is the link from Newsday thanks to Myron. Read the whole thing.
New York State Firefighter of the Year
Holbrook NYFire Chief Rick Gimbl was on his way home from the firehouse a few minutes before 1 a.m. on Feb. 5, 2005 when he received an alarm for a fire at a trailer park on Lincoln Avenue. He headed straight over.
Heavy snow banks had nearly blocked the narrow lanes. Chief Gimbl was looking for a place to park when residents rushed out shouting someone was trapped inside. Flames were blowing out from a window and over two 100lb propane tanks. He ditched his chief’s car in a snow bank, suited up and broke in the door.
A wall of flame blocked the way, and temperatures inside were already somewhere between 300 and 500 degrees. Chief Gimbl got down low, below the worst smoke and heat spraying pressurized water from an extinguisher to make a gateway. He conducted a systematic search with his hand on the wall to keep his bearings. The living room was empty.
He turned back toward the flames, spraying once again pressurized water from an extinguisher to make a gateway, and crawled around a burnt opening in the floor to the other half of the trailer. He couldn’t see much in front of him because of the heavy smoke and heat.
He soon came upon the looming bulk of 34-year-old James McGuire unconscious in the hallway. He felt for and found a pulse, then radioed fellow volunteers that he had a victim. Still crawling, he muscled the 290-pound man toward the rear door, because the flames were blocking the door he entered. Keeping one hand on the wall he came across the rear door. He yelled that he was at the back door and with his foot pushed opened the rear door. Chief Gimbl handed him over the threshold to the arriving engine crew.
McGuire was rushed to intensive care with burns over 70 percent of his body, including his lungs and trachea. It was touch and go for a while, with three weeks at the hospital Burn Center and skin grafts on a leg.
We believe Assistant Chief Gimbl took great risk knowing by his experience that the trailer could have gone up in flames and that he himself could have been in great danger. He continued the search to find the victim regardless of the danger that surrounded him.
Gimbl will be honored in August as the NY State Firefighter of the Year