Firefighter Gerry McManus
At 1336 Hours, Queens Box 8903 was transmitted reporting a fire in a private dwelling. E302 and TL 155 were both assigned first due. Numerous calls were received reporting the same.
From a distance, a column of smoke could be seen in the direction of the address and the officer of E302 immediately gave a 10-75.
Both companies arrived first due and heavy fire could be seen venting from the first and second floor of a two and half story peaked roof private dwelling. Fire appeared to be consuming both floors. Engine 302 hooked up to a hydrant and began stretching the initial attack line.
Firefighter Gerard McManus was assigned the roof position in TL155. The inside team of TL155 began forcing the front door for entry and advancement of the handline. Entry would be difficult without the handline due to the heavy volume of fire. Queens dispatch notified units of reports of people trapped.
Firefighter McManus an experienced firefighter realized accessing to the sides and rear of the dwelling would be difficult due to numerous obstructions. Firefighter McManus began breaking a fence on the exposure 2 side. Firefighter McManus then proceeded to exposure 3 where he forced entry into the basement. Firefighter McManus did a quick search and reported that there was no fire in the basement. Firefighter McManus exited the basement then proceeded to the ¾ corner where he began forcing 3 doors including a heavy duty security door in order to gain entry to the 1st floor. Firefighter McManus was met by heavy black smoke and extreme heat. Pushing under pressure.
The Fire began rapidly extending throughout the house and consuming all but the small kitchen area in the rear. Firefighter McManus knowing the reports of person’s trapped and conditions worsening that time was of the essence to react. Firefighter McManus weighed the risk vs rewards and entered into the dwelling to begin a quick and aggressive search. Without any protection from a hand line Firefighter McManus began a left-hand search of the kitchen which led him into the dining room area. The conditions were worsening and Firefighter McManus began feeling the heat permeate through his bunker gear. Crawling on his belly and with fire above and around him Firefighter McManus continued deeper into the dwelling. Now in the middle of the dining room,
Firefighter McManus came upon the foot and leg of an unconscious victim. Firefighter McManus transmitted a 10-45 for the victim with conditions ever more severe. Firefighter McManus began the difficult task of removing the victim by himself through the heavy fire which was near flashover temperatures. Firefighters McManus having spun the victim then dragged him 15 feet back to the rear door and then outside. Once outside Firefighter McManus carried the victim another 60 feet to the front where Engine 308 quickly began CPR and resuscitation.
Firefighter McManus operated alone in severe and punishing conditions putting his safety on the line in order to save the life of another human being. Firefighter McManus exemplifies the courage and dedication it takes to be a member of the FDNY