By SUE SUCHYTA
HEIGHTS – Fire Chief Dave Brogan recognized firefighters Hunter Moore, Brian Lobkovich and Kevin Ryan and Fire Capt. Joshua Erickson for exceptional service at the Jan. 24 City Council meeting.
Moore received a lifesaving award, Lobkovich and Erickson received Medals of Valor, and Ryan was honored as 2022 Firefighter of the Year.
Brogan said firefighters respond to many emergency calls where they encounter someone in full cardiac arrest, during which minutes and seconds are crucial to increase the person’s chance of survival.
“Our goal on these runs is to achieve ‘ROSC,’ the return of spontaneous circulation,” he said. “In doing so, we have literally saved a life.”
Brogan said first responders must quickly begin CPR, defibrillation, start an IV, do intubation and administer medications, which are dependent on the patient’s heart rhythm.
“While this is definitely a team effort, the individual who was on the most calls with a successful ROSC was Firefighter Hunter Moore,” he said. “Firefighter Moore received four ROSC certificates this year. There were several firefighters with multiple saves, but Hunter led the group this year.”
Brogan recognized Lobkovich with the Medal of Valor for his rescue of a man trapped inside a burning house Aug. 23 in the 24000 block of Stanford Street, along with a Commendation of Merit for Fire Capt. Nieto and a unit commendation for Lt. Beer, Patrol Officer Campbell and Firefighter Spisz.
Brogran said a 20-year-old man was trapped inside a first-floor bedroom of a house which had visible flames and heavy smoke throughout. Nieto saw the man and entered without a full self-contained breathing apparatus to try to get him out of the house, but the man pulled away from him and moved further into the house.
Lobkovich tried to enter from the front door to make his way to the bedroom, but was forced back by heavy fire and heat. He then exited the house, re-entered through the bedroom window and wrestled the man back to the window, at which point Nieto helped Lobkovich remove the man from the burning house.
Beer and Spisz arrived and immediately began to care for the injured man, treating his burns, lacerations and compromised airway, and transported him to the burn unit at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
“The crew showed incredible efficiency in making a rapid rescue of a patient who was extremely disoriented and then providing top level ALS care,” Brogan said. “They transported the patient to the closest burn unit, providing him the best chances of a successful outcome.”
Erickson was awarded the Medal of Valor for rescuing a disabled woman Feb. 17 from a house trailer fire in the 26200 block of Warren Avenue.
Brogan said Erickson recognized that there was no time to wait for backup to arrive, so he used a thermal imaging camera in zero-visibility conditions to find the trapped resident. As he reached her, a burning ceiling panel fell on them both, which Erickson pushed off them before removing the woman from the burning trailer.
The woman was then provided with advance life support while she was rushed to the burn unit at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
The unit, which included Battalion Chief Digue, Capt. Cavill, Lt. Phelan, Patrol Officers Flinn and Nash, and Firefighters Smith, Stehlik, Moore, Pfeiffer, Scherrer, Metz and Louria, received a unit commendation.
Brogan said Erikson showed bravery and was calm when faced with the perilous rescue.
“He entered the home without the benefit of a protective hose line and before his backup could be suited up to assist,” Brogan said. “Minutes and seconds count when faced with such situations, and Capt. Erickson acted accordingly, doing his very best to save this woman.”
Brogan said that Firefighter Kevin Ryan was named 2022 Firefighter of the Year for his outstanding work, which includes spending hours helping residents with car seat installations as well as reaching out to people in need of child car seats.
He said Ryan is an active member of the Community Outreach team and volunteers at the department’s open house and heads up the Powersports raffle, which recently raised $13,000 for local charities.
In addition, Ryan helped with a Garden City Fire Department pancake breakfast that was held in Dearborn Heights and helped with an outreach program and blood pressure checks at a local mosque during Ramadan.
He also volunteers at the annual chili cookoff, at an annual leaf raking event and as a Salvation Army bell ringer.
“He has a great attitude, is always smiling, treats patients well and gets along with everyone,” Brogan said.