NDW Indian Head Firefighters/EMTs Recognized for Lifesaving Incidents

July 15, 2021

Members of Naval District Washington (NDW) Fire and Emergency Services Indian Head Company were recognized for lifesaving during a July 13, 2021, ceremony at the fire house with Naval District Washington Commandant Rear Adm. Michael Steffen and Naval Support Activity South Potomac (NSASP) Commanding Officer CAPT Todd Copeland. The awards covered an astonishing four lifesaving events in the last quarter, with one additional incident too recent for inclusion in the ceremony.

“I just heard you saved another life this weekend,” said Copeland, who praised the members of the department for their performance of duties on the base and on mutual aid calls in the community.

The visit marked the first trip to NSF Indian Head for Steffen since becoming the 92nd commandant of NDW on June 22. A naval helicopter pilot by trade and veteran of search and rescue missions himself, Steffen said he has a strong appreciation for the dedication required to be a first responder.

“Thanks for having me here; it’s awesome to be at Indian Head,” said Steffen. “I’ve never been to this installation before but it’s an awesome place. You at the fire department play such an integral role, not just on the base but in the community. It’s critical that you perform at a high level and I certainly appreciate it.”

Firefighter-Paramedic Brent Debusk and Firefighter Frankie Hannah III received certificates of lifesaving for an incident on April 17, during which they provided pre-hospital care to a patient in cardiac arrest.

“It should be noted that this is Hannah’s 14th lifesaving award,” said Regional Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Grinder, who emceed the ceremony. It wouldn’t be the last.

Hannah and Firefighter-EMT Kevin McDermott received certificates of lifesaving for an incident on May 24, during which they provided pre-hospital care to a patient in cardiac arrest.

Firefighter Michael Baker, Firefighter-Paramedic Christopher Lumpkins and Battalion Fire Chief Charles Benson received certificates of lifesaving for a June 14 incident, during which they provided pre-hospital care to a patient in cardiac arrest.

Fire Inspector Karen Montgomery received a certificate of lifesaving for her off-duty actions on June 16, when she pulled a pinned motorist from a burning vehicle, directed bystanders, initiated patient care, and briefed responding units. Montgomery suffered minor burns in the course of her lifesaving effort; she’s returned to duty and was able to receive the award with her daughter Kennedy, 10.

“The exceptional care provided by the responders contributed to saving the lives of the patients,” according to the certificates of lifesaving.

Navy firefighters from the NSF Indian Head Stump Neck Annex were one of the responding units to the June 16 incident and delivered the patient to a medevac helicopter for transport to the hospital. For their efforts, the crew – Firefighter-EMT Michael Buck Jr., Firefighter-Paramedic Frank DeBuss, Firefighter-EMT Chris Foss, Hannah, Firefighter-EMT Charles German, McDermott, Firefighter-EMT John Price, Firefighter-EMT Daniel Russell, and Firefighter-EMT Doug Sprouse – received certificates of achievement.

“You guys continue to do amazing stuff and save lives,” said Copeland.

“I really appreciate what you do and am proud of this team here, especially with all these lifesaving and achievement awards,” said Steffen. “Keep up the great work and I look forward to hearing more great things about you.”

After the ceremony, Copeland and Steffen joined the crew for lunch in the Fire Station’s kitchen. Bravo Zulu, team!