FDNY Medal Day 2024 celebrates courageous actions of New York City’s firefighters and EMTs

June 7, 2024

Ceremony highlights bravery of FDNY members

The FDNY held its 155th Medal Day Ceremony on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, honoring the lifesaving actions of its members during incidents throughout the previous calendar year.

The ceremony, which dates back to 1869, is one of the department’s most time-honored traditions.

Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh addressed the attendees at City Hall Plaza in Manhattan, saying: “Congratulations to all of our Medal Day recipients whose selfless acts are acknowledged today.

“Each day, our members confront unpredictable challenges that would make most hesitate.

“Yet, the men and women of the FDNY remain unwavering in their dedication to saving lives.

“On behalf of a grateful city, thank you for always answering the call.”

Celebrating courage and sacrifice

Chief of Department John Hodgens emphasized the significance of the event: “Medal Day is a celebration of courage, sacrifice and the winning spirit of the men and women of the FDNY.

“Every single day, members of the FDNY respond to fires and emergencies and help New Yorkers get through what very well may be the worst day of their life.

“Today, we honor those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty — approaching perilous, unpredictable situations with bravery and skill.”

Hodgens added: “The firefighters and EMTs of the FDNY do not shy away from danger.

“They confront it head-on, fully aware of the risks but driven by the commitment to protect and serve.”

Top medal recipients honored

Every three years, the FDNY holds special recognition for the top Fire and EMS medal recipients from the preceding three years.

This year’s winners include Firefighter Artur Podgorski, Ladder 108, who received the Harry M. Archer Medal for a lifesaving rope rescue in November 2022, saving a person dangling from a window on the 20th floor of a burning apartment building.

EMT Gary Hui and EMT Samuel Wright were awarded the Paramedic Carlos Lillo-Lieutenant Ricardo Quinn Medal for rescuing an unconscious driver trapped inside a burning dump truck.

Awards for 2024 incidents

For incidents that occurred in 2023, Lieutenant Mark Russo, Rescue Battalion, was awarded the Chief of Department Peter J.

Ganci Jr. Medal and the NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Medal.

Lt. Russo and Squad 8 rescued a firefighter trapped on the second floor of a burning building on Staten Island.

EMT Emmanuel Titus and EMT Shawn Griffin were awarded the Christopher J.

Prescott Medal for preventing a suicide attempt on the Kosciuszko Bridge in April 2023.

EMT Griffin climbed over the side of the bridge, and together they guided the individual back to safety.

Introduction of a new medal

This year, a new medal was introduced: the Battalion Chief Thomas J. Neary Harlem Firefighters Medal.

Captain Johnathan Shields, Ladder 42, received this honor for rescuing three individuals during a fire in the Bronx.

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