On February 10, 2001, Squad 41 was assigned to assist with operations at 206 west 118th Street in Manhattan where there was a report of people trapped. Firefighter Gibson A Craig performed his duties as the Squad 41 chauffeur, then entering the building, only to find that the interior stairs were blocked. Outside, he observed two victims trapped on the fire floor. Dense smoke was around them as they leaned out of the window.
Firefighter Craig climbed the fire escape, reached the fire floor, vented and entered the fire escape window. With zero visibility, he began his search in the fire floor hallway, looking for the victims’ apartment door.
Reaching a door frame in the dark, he forced it open, calmed the victims inside, and assisted in their rescue via the ariel.
Returning to the hallway on his knees, Firefighter Craig continued to force open several more apartment doors, searching for victims in the worsening conditions.
The fire apartment was opposite the stairway that provided the only access to the floor, and there was a large area to be searched beyond the apartment. Without regard for his personnel safety, and with great determination, Firefighter Craig crawled beneath the fire as it rolled out of the fire apartment and across the ceiling.
After crawling approximately 20 feet, he reached and entered apartment Number 51, where he found Ms Emma Carr unconscious by the apartment door.
He was unable to get through on the radio to transmit a 10-45, or request assistance. Alone, he dragged the victim in to the hallway, staying low in the heat.
He finally met with others who assisted him in reaching the stairway with the victim and taking her to the floor below where she was turned over to EMS personnel.
Re-donning his facepiece, he returned to the fire floor to assist in the rescue of another victim.
Firefighter Gibson A. Craig exhibited personal initiative, skill, and bravery, placing himself in a life-threatening situation by passing the fire apartment without the aid of a line or safe egress, in order to rescue the victim.
For his actions, we are proud to present Firefighter Gibson A. Craig with one of this year’s Bravest Awards.