March Firefighters Recognized for Exceptional Performance

Mr. Gary Bicondova, 452nd Air Mobility Wing Fire Department, March Air Reserve Base, is awarded the Air Force Civilian Achievement Medal and wing coin from Brig Gen James L. Melin, 452 AMW commander, for exceptional performance on March Brush Engine 10 during the Esperanza fire on 26 October 2006. Five U.S. Forest Service firefighters died battling an arson wildfire where they were overcome by 90-foot-tall walls of flame advancing at 40 mph. Mr. Bicondova used his emergency medical technician skills to sustain the live of another firefighter, Captain Mark Loutzenhiser, who later died at the hospital from severe burns to his entire body. The five firefighters were trapped in a burnover which can occur when an advancing fire driven by high winds jumps a protective line and traps firefighters in its path. The trapped firefighters did not have time to don their protective gear. (U.S. Air Force photos by LaGina Jackson)

PHOTO BY: LaGina Jackson
VIRIN: 070228-F-3666J-001.JPG
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