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Medal of Valor

SmittyFirefighter Christopher "Smitty" Smith
Medal of Valor Award
April 12, 1988
On April 12, 1988, Firefighter Christopher Smith and his assigned engine company were dispatched to a van on fire in the downtown area. Upon arrival, they noticed very heavy smoke coming from the van. Attempting to open the doors they found them to be locked. Firefighter Smith broke the window and opened the driver side door making entry into the back of the van where he found a body lying unconscious. As fellow firefighters attempted to open the van doors, a sudden rush of air entered and caused the contents and toxic atmosphere to explode. Still unable to exit the van, Firefighter Smith covered the victim and laid on him until his brother firefighters were able to force the doors open and pull them out. Upon reaching the outside, the firefighters began rescue efforts and were able to save the victim's life. The victim made a full recovery.

PaulGoodwinFire Captain Paul Goodwin
Medal of Valor Award
May 29, 1995
On May 29, 1995, at 9:21 p.m., the Monterey Fire Department responded to a smoke investigation at 815 Filmore Street. Upon arrival of Monterey Engine 6412, Captain Paul Goodwin reported light smoke showing. Upon further investigation Captain Goodwin determined that a fire was rapidly building in the structure and ordered a first alarm assignment. While Captain Goodwin called for a hose line to be taken into the front door of the residence, an occupant emerged from the door stating that a woman was trapped in the structure. Upon learning of the trapped occupant and observing the rapidly deterioration fire conditions, Captain Paul Goodwin decided to affect a rescue of the woman without the protection that would be offered by the hose line. Captain Goodwin made entry in to the building, rushed to the woman's side, picked her up and using his own body to shield her from the heat of the fire, carried her to the door. Shortly thereafter, the fire flashed over engulfing the entrance hallway in flames. Captain Paul Goodwin then led the attack to extinguish the fire.

RaLaFontaineFire Captain Raymond LaFontaine
Medal of Valor Award
April 19, 2002
On April 19, 2002, Captain Raymond LaFontaine, Engineer McKay and Firefighter Buzz Cole, aboard Monterey Engine 6413, were dispatched to a dog bite in the Ryan Ranch area. Captain LaFontaine exited the vehicle and ran 100 yards down to where a seriously injured little girl was being help by her grandmother. Without hesitation or concern for his own safety, he scooped the child from her grandmother and began moving at a fast pace back to the engine. What is so significant about this is he did this with the unleashed dogs (two large Rottweilers) circling him in an attack mode. Captain LaFontaine placed the child's body on the gurney and at this point in order to protect other rescue workers and family members at the scene, Captain LaFontaine got between the family members, dogs and rescue workers as to keep the dogs from hurting anyone else. "Throughout this whole call Captain LaFontaine was a man of distinguished valor. His concern for the child, rescue personnel and the child's family was put above his own safety."

NealHurdFirefighter Neal Hurd
Medal of Valor Award
July 18, 2012
Firefighter Neal Hurd is hereby presented Monterey Fire Department's highest meritorious conduct award, the "Medal of Valor" in recognition of his bravery and courage, above and beyond the call of duty, by risking his life to save a fellow firefighter under conditions that put him at extreme personal risk. On July 18, 2012, Firefighter Hurd, without hesitation, put his own life at risk to prevent a fellow firefighter from succumbing to serious burn injuries by expeditiously pulling him from a ventilation hole that was engulfed in active fire during dynamic structural firefighting roof ventilation operations. His heroic, selfless actions most certainly prevented one of our own from receiving serious life threatening injuries.