It was Nov. 18, and the lives of five Dodge City residents endured a terrible tragedy.
Dodge City Fire Chief Robert Heinz spoke to the city commission on Monday evening to recognize the life-saving efforts of City Fire Shift A on that November night.
"The shift was dispatched to a report of smoke on a structure at 1103 1st Avenue," Heinz told the commissioners. "While in route to the call, dispatch advised that someone was on the roof of the structure.
"When crews arrived on scene they found smoke coming from the windows of the apartment, with on person on the roof."
Along with the person on the roof, the fire crews also located a person on the second floor of the complex and were able to get him to safety.
The person on the roof was able to be led to safety once fire crews put up a ladder and helped the person down.
"They also found a family of four, a father and three young children still in the apartment," Heinz said. "The firefighters brought the children and their father through increasingly dense smoke to the first floor exit and to safety.
"They then spent the next few hours working to save the structure and the occupants possessions.
"While the structure may be a loss, many of the occupant's possessions were saved due to the hard work of these men."
Heinz named City Fire Shift A Captain Brian Hudson, engineers Aaron Pyle and Scott Wadley, firefighters Brian Green, Andrew Kintner, Robert Montes, Richard Hartman and Ian Deges as the crew that saved the lives of the five citizens.
"As there Chief, I am here with great pride in their hard work and dedication to their duties as firefighters for the city of Dodge City," Heinz said. "These men work hard every day to make sure they are ready to answer the call for help when it comes.
"They don't ask for recognition, they even tend to try to avoid it, felling like it is just part of the job, but we all owe them a thank you for having our collective backs when things are going badly.
"I would like to also say the same for not just A shift but all my firefighters who work just as hard and are just as dedicated to their duties as these individuals are."
Mayor Rick Sowers and commissioners presented a plaque of A shift's recognition, with the citizens who were saved that day in the audience.
Dodge City Fire Deputy Chief Ken Spencer added, "You guys did what heck of a job. You guys always say, 'We're just doing our job' but there's a difference between doing your job and doing your job very well and on that day, you guys did your job very well."
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