2016 Firefighters of the Year Named

Communications Deputy Director

Eric Vreeland
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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News item

2016 Firefighters of the Year Named

Posted: 07/24/2017
Firefighters of the Year for 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 Firefighters of the Year: Assistant Chief Jim Arnold, Capt. Dale Patterson, Capt. Pete Hayes, Senior Firefighter Chris Hill and Senior Firefighter Erica Behning.

The five firefighters were honored today for their actions on March 13, 2016, when they saved two lives in a smoke-filled apartment building.

The team entered a burning apartment and pulled two unresponsive residents to safety.

“It’s no coincidence that our firefighters seem to always be in the right place, at the right time,” Mayor Madeline Rogero said. “They immediately know what to do, and they do it skillfully, even if it means putting themselves in danger to help a stranger. That says a lot about the quality of their training, but even more importantly, it speaks volumes about their courage and their character.”

Text from Mayor's proclamation:

A Proclamation
On Behalf Of The People Of
The City of Knoxville
By Her Honor The Mayor
Madeline Rogero
To Publicly Recognize
2016 Firefighters of the Year

WHEREAS: At 10:22 p.m. on March 13, 2016, units from the Knoxville Fire Department were dispatched to Williamsburg Village Apartments at 5005 Inskip Drive in response to a report of a fire with confirmed victims; and

WHEREAS: Arriving on the scene, Assistant Chief Jim Arnold, Capt. Dale Patterson from Station No. 15, and Master Firefighter Pete Hayes, Senior Firefighter Chris Hill and Senior Firefighter Erica Behning from Station No. 14 discovered a working apartment fire on the ground level of the multi-unit complex; and

WHEREAS: Assistant Chief Arnold and Firefighters Hayes and Hill entered the structure, battling high heat and low visibility, in order to search for occupants, while Engine 14 Operator Behning began to place an initial hand line at the door to facilitate suppression operations; and

WHEREAS: Assistant Chief Arnold located an elderly woman lying unresponsive just inside the door, and a second victim unconscious in a back bedroom; Engine 14 crew removed the occupants to safety; and

WHEREAS: After hearing reports of multiple victims, Capt. Patterson left Engine 15 at the hydrant to assist in the search for additional occupants; and

WHEREAS: Engine 14 crew administered life-saving care to the second victim, while Senior Firefighter Behning rendered aid to the first; and

WHEREAS: Additional personnel arrived on the scene and helped Capt. Patterson bring the fire under control; and

WHEREAS: The selfless acts of heroism demonstrated by the firefighters on the night of this event are a true measure of the commitment these firefighters provide to the community and citizens of Knoxville.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Madeline Rogero, Mayor of the City of Knoxville, Tennessee, do hereby recognize on July 24, 2017: 2016 Firefighters of the Year in our city and ask all citizens to join in this observance.