Cincinnati Fire banquet awards acts of heroism

Kimberly Flannigan was rescued by emergency crews after an accident last October.
Kimberly Flannigan was rescued by emergency crews after an accident last October.

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Many would call them acts of heroism or bravery, but for the men and women honored at the Millennium Hotel on Thursday, it was just another day at the office.

About 200 firefighters and a number of citizens were recognized for their heroic acts during the past year at the Cincinnati Fire Department's 2nd annual awards banquet.

"Any firefighter out here would say that everything that we do... Everyday somebody is doing something to save somebody's life," said Chad Maley, a local firefighter.

And that's exactly what Maley did one year ago while battling a fire on Foraker Avenue in Walnut Hills. Maley found three people huddled inside a smoke filled apartment who needed air.

"I knew I could hold my breath long enough, and I knew where I was going to get those people, but they didn't know where they were going so one by one I just, I grabbed them. I took my face piece off, stuck it on their face, grabbed the back of their head and basically drug them to the window and handed them off to a firefighter," Maley described.

Chad, who also serves in the fire department's color guard was among the recipients of the Blue Maltese Award.

An award that was also presented to Lt. Joseph Arnold, who rescued a severely injured Kimberly Flannigan last October from a wrecked vehicle.

"It was a single vehicle accident. The vehicle went into one of those steel girders, almost cut the car in half," said Arnold.

Kimberly suffered an injury called an internal decapitation, which nearly ended her life.

"They said the only thing that was holding my head up was my skin. That scares me thinking about it," said Flannigan.

Kimberly was unconscious when she was pulled from the wreckage, so she never had a chance to shake the hands of her rescuers.

"I'm honored. I want to see their faces and tell them thank you," she revealed.

Kimberly got her chance on Thursday, as Lt. Arnold led her from table to table to meet her rescuers, and because of their efforts, Kimberly says she has a whole new take on life.

"I'm blessed. My faith is on overload. I'm good. I smile all the time. I have nothing not to smile about."

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