Evansville Fire Department Award Recognition


On March 12, 2015 at 1650 hours, a line-up was dispatched to 739 Ravenswood on a structure fire. Almost immediately following, they declared it a working fire.

Rescue 1 arrived and gave a size up as a single story home with the front fully involved. When I arrived, I assumed command. Two lines were deployed on the B and D sides to protect the exposures. A third attack line was used on the front A side with some effect.

A report came over the air that a victim had been found and was in need of assistance at the rear C side of the house. Captain Mike Russler and Lt. Ben Pfeffer of Ladder 1 and Captain Kirk Kuhnel and Lt. Eric Word of Rescue 1 had entered the rear of the house and were in the process of bringing the victim out. The rescue was difficult. It was up a basement stairway, the doorways were closed and there was little room to open with the victim in this area. All the while, the fire burning extremely hot was being pushed through the house from the frontal attack.

The victim was brought out. Private Beth Csukas and Private Curt Diedrich were assigned to care for the victim until the AMR personnel were on scene. After the ambulance arrived, they continued their treatment and accompanied him in the transport to the hospital.

Reports came in another victim may still be in the house. Rescue 1 and Ladder 1 were given the search. Heavy fire and smoke made this difficult. The search was completed with no other victims found.

The attack on the fire was starting to make headway and the largest amount of fire on the front, and the first floor was being knocked down. There was still fire in the attic area and attack efforts were started there.

The effective exposure protection and aggressive fire attack by E1, E14, and E15 ended in a very successful stop and victim rescue. The L1 and R1 search, rescue and venting of the house, was performed in an extremely difficult and dynamic environment. These companies’ performance has led me as a Chief Officer, to have a great deal of pride in all the personnel at this fire.

Company Citations are to recognize actions which could not have been accomplished without the coordination and participation of the entire unit.

Receiving Company Citations:
L1 – Captain Mike Russler, Lt. Ben Pfeffer, Private Dan Kissel, Private Beth Csukas

E1 – Captain Dean Haas, Private Robbie Doerr, Private Roger Smith, Private Scott Weber, Private Craig McLin

E14 – Captain Jim Melloy, Private Tim Olson, Private Brian Webber, Private James Cohen

E15 – Captain Brian Stark, Lt. Jon Laidlaw, Private Jason Howell, Private Curt Diedrich

Silver Awards are to recognize actions in which the Firefighter risks personal injury to protect one or more citizens or Firefighters from personal injury or death.

Receiving Silver Merit Awards:
Ladder 1:
Captain Mike Russler
Lt. Ben Pfeffer

Rescue 1:
Captain Kirk Kuhnel
Lt. Eric Word