On Wednesday, April 20, 2016, retired Fire/EMS Department Lieutenant Colonel Tyrone Wells while returning from a line of duty death funeral for a member of the Fire/EMS Department noticed a vehicle fire on the road ahead of him. As he reached the vehicle, Lieutenant Colonel Wells noticed that Assistant Chief Ware was attempting to gain entry to the vehicle to rescue the driver from the burning vehicle and stopped to provide assistance.
Forcible entry was in progress when the victim inadvertently stepped on the gas pedal, driving the vehicle down the slope off the shoulder of the road. The fire was now at a difficult angle with extension into the engine compartment, posing greater peril to an already challenging situation. It was imperative to affect this rescue immediately and prevent what would surely be a tragic outcome. With the help of a bystander, Assistant Chief Ware and Lieutenant Colonel Wells managed to get down the slope and access the passenger side of the vehicle.
Utilizing a construction tool provided by a bystander, the passenger side window was broken to allow access to the victim for removal from the vehicle moments before the fire reached the passenger compartment. After successfully rescuing the patient from the passenger side, Assistant Chief Ware and Lieutenant Colonel Wells carried the woman up the hill and across the street. The patient was turned over to other Fire/EMS personnel who had then arrived on the scene for further medical evaluation and treatment.
For personal risk, judgment, and zeal, retired Lieutenant Colonel Tyrone N. Wells is awarded the Bronze Medal of Valor by Fire Chief Benjamin M. Barksdale.