Congratulations are in order for Engineer Thomas 'Pat' Copeman,
the recipient of the 2011 Stichway Award or, as it was once known, recognition as the 'Firefighter of the Year'
for the Jacksonville Fire/Rescue Department. In a ceremony held Friday evening, 2 March at the Union Hall of Local #122 on
Stockton Street, Engineer Copeman of Engine 7 - "B" was recognized for his heroic actions at the scene of a tanker truck explosion
in St. Augustine on August 19 of last year. While off-duty and assisting a friend move furniture, Copeman heard an explosion
and saw a huge plume of black smoke climb skyward merely a few blocks away from his location. Runnning toward the vicinity
of the commotion, Copeman came upon a gas station where a tanker truck had been off-loading fuel when a sudden explosion and
subsequent fire transformed the scene into a horrific carnage of flying debris, heat, opaque smoke coupled with ardent
flames and the driver of the rig, trapped and unable to move away from the pernicious environment. Copeman quickly organized
a few bystanders in his rescue effort to remove the injured male from the scene and, succeeding in doing so, quickly
turned his attention to both initial patient assessment and general on scene safety until the arrival of dispatched emergency
crews. Copeman's actions undeniably reflect the highest of professional standards including exceptional courage
and strength of character; attributes regularly ascribed to those firefighters not only receiving the honor
of a Bronze Medal of Bravery but also the highest accolade available, the Joseph F. Stichway Award. Congratulations
Congratulations Chief B.J. Kraus on your retirement.
Good luck & don't be a stranger.
Station 2 letting it all hang out for a worthy cause!
September 11th Brother for Brother Walk
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