Stories of heroism abound at the FDNY Medal Day Ceremony

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City's Bravest were honored at the FDNY Medal Day Ceremony on Wednesday.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro presided at the ceremony at the Louis Armstrong Stadium - USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens.

At the ceremony, medals were presented to FDNY Firefighters, Paramedics, EMTs, Fire Marshals and Officers for their life-saving work at incidents in 2020.

Notable medal recipients included:

Firefighter Abraham Miller of Ladder Company 23 received the Chief of Department Peter J. Ganci Jr. Medal and NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Medal.

Firefighter Miller descended from the roof of a six-story building in order to rescue a child trapped by smoke and fire.

In all, seven medals were awarded to firefighters for their heroic actions at this two-alarm Manhattan fire that led to the rescue of 12 occupants.

- Firefighter Abraham G. Miller, Ladder 23 - Chief of Department Peter J. Ganci Jr. Medal
- Firefighter Jairo M. Sosa, Ladder 34 - John H. Prentice Medal

- Firefighter Robert Caponigro, Ladder 34 - Commissioner Edward Thompson Medal
- Firefighter Jose A. Castro, Ladder 42 - Pulaski Association Medal
- Firefighter Philip C. Ingwersen, Squad 41 - William Friedberg Medal
- Lieutenant Robert J. Brown, Jr., Squad 41 - Vincent J. Kane Medal
- Squad Company 41 - Firefighter Thomas R. Elsasser Memorial Medal

Firefighters Sosa and Miller were honored for their bravery during a fire in Washington Heights on Sept. 29.

"This fire started at four in the morning," firefighter Jairo Sosa said. "We hear the screaming, saw the child over the window and we said we got to get them."

Sosa and Miller did just that, as Sosa lowered Miller from the roof of a six-story building to rescue a 5-year-old's life.

"She'll be able to grow up, have a happy life, go to prom, have kids and live her life because we responded," Miller said.

That is rewarding enough, but made sweeter by their new shiny medals.

Miller's is in honor of Peter Ganci, who was chief of department when he died on 9/11, the very event that shaped Miller's career path.

"When the planes took down the towers, that's when I decided to be a firefighter, after that," Miller said.

So many rescues, so much bravery, the extreme moments that these men and women train for, and when they succeed, they become heroes inspiring the next generation onward.

"How he saved a five year old girl, I'm really proud he did that," said MIller's 8-year-old son Elijah.

EMTs Samuel Wright and Gary Hui of EMS Station 59 received the Christopher J. Prescott Medal for their daring rescue of a trapped dump truck driver who crashed into multiple vehicles and a utility pole.

They pulled the occupant out seconds before flames engulfed the vehicle and provided critical medical care.

Also, Firefighter Brian C. Quinn of Ladder Company 30 received the Walter Scott Medal for his effort in the safe rescue of a panicked occupant who was standing on the windowsill edge with a small dog in the fire apartment.

Firefighter Quinn lowered himself with the life-saving rope from the 17th story and secured the resident, preventing her from falling, until interior units could safely reach her.

For their combined efforts at this incident, Ladder 30 will receive the World Trade Center Memorial Medal.

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