Golf Manor firefighters recognized by state fire marshal

Posted by Trina Edwards - email

GOLF MANOR, OH (FOX19) - Two Golf Manor firefighters were honored by the State Fire Marshal during a ceremony Thursday evening.

Firefighters Casey Ballman and Charles Weghorn are credited with rescuing a 6-year-old girl from her burning home on Nov. 23, 2009.

"Firefighters Ballman's and Weghorn's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the fire service," said Interim State Fire Marshal Donald C. Cooper. "Their valiant actions bring great credit to themselves, their families, their department and Ohio's fire service."

On November 23, 2009, the Golf Manor Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire. Due to the rapidly deteriorating fire conditions and the immediate threat to the child's life, Firefighters Ballman and Weghorn responded to the rear of the apartment.  They deployed a ladder to the carport roof – located a few feet below the bedroom windowsill where the child was reportedly located. As Firefighter Ballman jumped to the window, the metal carport partially collapsed, leaving him hanging onto the windowsill, nearly eight feet above the pavement. A nearby civilian was able to assist Firefighter Ballman into the window.

In the true spirit of the fire service, Firefighter Weghorn leaped into action, refusing to allow his fellow brother to enter the burning structure alone. Weghorn took a running start from the damaged carport roof, jumping to the window, only to find himself hanging onto the windowsill and needing assistance to enter the building. Without the protection of a hose line, they began their search under heavy smoke and intense heat. They quickly found the girl, pulseless and not breathing, under the bed. The firefighters immediately handed the victim through the window to fellow firefighters, who rushed her to waiting EMS personnel. She was successfully resuscitated on the way to the hospital. Unable to safely exit through the same window, Firefighters Ballman and Weghorn began a perilous trip crawling their way through the burning structure before reaching safety.

The Award for Heroism was unveiled in 2001. This award augments the State Fire Commission's annual Hall of Fame Awards.

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