News Advisory: Gastonia Fire Department Heroes to Receive NC OSFM Valor Award

Today, Captain Barron Summey and Firefighter Michael Chafin of the Gastonia Fire Department (GFD) will be honored with the NC Office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM) Valor Award for their extraordinary acts of courage and bravery in the line of duty. This prestigious award is the highest honor given by the NCOSFM, recognizing exceptional heroism.

Event Details

Date: May 28, 2024
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: Gastonia Fire Department, 260 N Myrtle School Rd, Gastonia, NC 28052

The NC OSFM Valor Award is given to individuals who demonstrate remarkable courage and bravery in perilous situations. Captain Barron Summey and Firefighter Michael Chafin are being recognized for their heroic actions during a high-angle rescue on January 14, 2024.

On January 14, 2024, at 20:18, Ranlo Fire and Rescue was dispatched to assist the Ranlo Police Department with a subject climbing a 150-foot cell tower on Burlington Avenue. Upon arrival, it was clear that the individual was in distress, unresponsive to commands, bleeding, and at risk of hypothermia due to the cold weather.

With negotiations failing, the decision was made to send rescuers up the tower. Captain Barron Summey and Firefighter Michael Chafin from GFD's High Angle Rescue units began their ascent at 21:00. Despite the individual's resistance and the dangerous conditions, Captain Summey and Firefighter Chafin executed a daring rescue. Captain Summey managed to secure the individual just as she let go of the tower, preventing a fall. Together, they safely lowered her to the ground using a complex rope system.

Their quick thinking, teamwork, and bravery saved the individual's life and exemplified the highest standards of the fire service.

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