We are proud to recognize our following members (Ian Bell, John Gethins Jr., Henry Hansch III, & Josh Makowski) who were part of the 35 public safety officers that The 200 Club of Morris County recognized on Thursday evening for their “extraordinary acts of heroism during events in 2021”. The evening showcased some of our county’s finest, and we are proud and honored to work alongside such an esteemed group of individuals and departments. Congratulations to everyone who received an award…
Meritorious Team Honorees:
- Firefighter/EMT Ian R. Bell
- Firefighter John T. Gethins, Jr.
- Firefighter Henry Hansch, III
- Firefighter/EMT Josh J. Makowski
On the evening of September 1, 2021, during Hurricane Ida, Firefighter/EMT Ian R. Bell, Firefighter John T. Gethins, Jr., Firefighter Henry Hansch, III, and Firefighter/EMT Josh J. Makowski were dispatched to a homeless encampment located behind the Morris County Mall. A woman and her dog had become trapped in her trailer due to rising flood waters. These firefighters are part of the Whippany Fire Department’s water rescue team and immediately called upon their specialized training by performing a water rescue.
The scene presented some unique hazards because the encampment is in a wooded area near active railroad tracks. Even in daylight on a good day, this location is difficult to access. Despite the raging storm and the challenges at the scene, these dedicated firefighters deployed their rescue boats in the dark, in flooded woods. They were able to reach the woman and successfully remove her and her dog without incident. They then returned to the flooded area to check for more people and fortunately, none were found.
This highly trained team of firefighters acted decisively and swiftly which resulted in the saving of a life, despite multiple obstacles and hazards they navigated at the scene.