Medal of Merit

20May11

” Assistant Chief Thomas Murray was the on duty Shift Commander at the time the storm struck and responded to Lordship to assess the situation. Upon arrival to the area his size up found the situation on the ground in utter chaos. He found that despite the number of town officials also in the area there was no one in control and no incident action plan in place. Assistant Chief Murray immediately established command and gained control of the situation by establishing a temporary command post, developing an incident action plan and ordering additional resources to the stricken area. But, due to the other storm damage around Stratford all fire, police, EMS and public works services were being taxed.
Assistant Chief Murray using his knowledge of the incident command system then established a list of incident priorities for the emergency at hand based on life safety, incident stabilization and property conservation. Then, after quickly surveying the area he determined that the safest place for a permanent command post was in an area near the Lordship firehouse. In addition to the command post he established a rehabilitation area at the Lordship firehouse for all departments and agencies involved with mitigating this emergency.”

It is apparent that the political leadership did the smartest thing they could possibly do: Get out of the way.

Advertisements


7 Responses to “Medal of Merit”

  1. 1 jezebel282

    Full text of citation:

    Medal of Merit
    24 JUN 10
    Lordship Tornado Strike

    Attention to orders: On June 24, 2010 at approximately 14:30 hours the Town of Stratford was hit with a front of devastating weather. The hardest hit was the Lordship section of town, which was directly in the path of a reported tornado. The Lordship area’s infrastructure was heavily damaged and the area was strewn with life threatening hazards. Most streets were impassable due to fallen trees, downed live power lines and deadfalls where everywhere. To compound these problems large members of the public including many groups of unaccompanied minor children wandered the streets to see the damage, unaware of the presence of these life-threatening conditions.

    Assistant Chief Thomas Murray was the on duty Shift Commander at the time the storm struck and responded to Lordship to assess the situation. Upon arrival to the area his size up found the situation on the ground in utter chaos. He found that despite the number of town officials also in the area there was no one in control and no incident action plan in place. Assistant Chief Murray immediately established command and gained control of the situation by establishing a temporary command post, developing an incident action plan and ordering additional resources to the stricken area. But, due to the other storm damage around Stratford all fire, police, EMS and public works services were being taxed.

    Assistant Chief Murray using his knowledge of the incident command system then established a list of incident priorities for the emergency at hand based on life safety, incident stabilization and property conservation. Then, after quickly surveying the area he determined that the safest place for a permanent command post was in an area near the Lordship firehouse. In addition to the command post he established a rehabilitation area at the Lordship firehouse for all departments and agencies involved with mitigating this emergency.

    Seeing the need for long term planning, operations and logistics Assistant Chief Murray activated the Emergency Operations Center in order to supply and support the ongoing tactical operations in the field. The first responders on the ground included Fire, Police, EMS, Public Works as well as United Illuminating. These resources were spread thin because of storm damage in other parts of Stratford and the same tornado touching down in Bridgeport. Assistant Chief Murray recognized this fact and implemented a unified command structure so that all departments and agencies would work together in a coordinated effort to achieve the incident priorities and efficiently provide for the immediate needs of the residents.

    Due to manpower constraints there were several times Assistant Chief Murray had to personally guide citizens, including children, to safety around energized power lines and deadfalls in the early stages of the operation greatly risking his own personal safety in order to help these citizens. Remaining on scene for over the first twenty-four hours as the Fire Department Commander he continued directing operations and providing all possible aid to the residents of Lordship. In addition to his responsibilities as Fire Department Commander he made the time to personally deliver rehab to the many police officers and public works employees that were unable to leave their assignments.

    Assistant Chief Murray successfully led the management of what was one of the most sudden and devastating disasters to befall the Town of Stratford during our 350-year history. Due in no small part to the actions of Assistant Chief Murray civilian casualties were prevented and the area was again made safe for residents to pass through. The actions of Assistant Chief Thomas Murray are a credit to himself, a credit to the Stratford Fire Department and are in keeping with the finest traditions of the Fire Service; accordingly, Assistant Chief Thomas S. Murray is awarded the Stratford Fire Department Medal of Merit.

    Fire Chief James Cavanaugh

  2. 2 1george1

    Tom Murray is a fine person and outstanding fire fighter.

  3. 3 jezebel282

    George,

    Actually he is one of many. That’s just what they do. It would be difficult to list the unit citations and individual awards for the entire fire department here.
    I singled out Murray simply because he is more comfortable giving praise rather than receiving it. I am sure the way it works is that he will be razzed all day by every firefighter who sees this.

    However, and more importantly, given the “leadership” Stratford has suffered with these last 5 or 6 years, I felt it important to publish something positive. After what we have gone through with the leadership of the Police Department, Stratford EMS, the variety of Town Hall inhabitants and the gangs that call themselves “town political committees”, it is important to realize that the reason we survive in this town is due to the dedication and talent of most of our Town employees.

  4. 4 tommurray13

    While I rarely pay attention to the local blogs, certain ones inspire my co-workers to comment on the daily happenings, this topic was certainly no exception. If I had to sum up my reaction, one word comes to mind: embarrassment. That being said while I truly appreciate the support that “Wordpress” has lent to the Stratford Fire Department, and on occasion to myself personally, I feel this topic is WAY over the top.

    I was very surprised that I was singled out this year to receive such an honor from the Department. As cliché as it sounds I was merely doing my job. These same actions would have been taken had any of my counterparts been working that shift, that is what we are trained to do. Additionally there were MANY Stratford Firefighters working that day doing the heavy lifting all over the town and they were the key to any success that the Fire Department may have had. They are the ones who truly deserve the credit for the outcome of this and most emergency events. Personally, in my opinion (and I’m sure my co-workers at the FD will agree) the ones who truly deserve accolades for their actions during the Tornado are the members of the Stratford Public Works Department, who worked around the clock restoring services not only in Lordship, but throughout town.

    What I was credited for doing there pales in comparison to what I see my co-workers do on a regular basis. For example, last year Assistant Chief Dan Ross received a Department Medal of Valor for pulling a man out of a burning building without the protection of his structural firefighting gear. Firefighters Bill Hansen, Kevin Fagan and Mike Preston received Medals of Merit for their attempt at making a rescue at a house fire without protection of a hose-line and Firefighter Tricia Wetmore received a Medal of Merit for saving a young child’s life en-route to the hospital in the back of a police cruiser.

    I think Chief Jim Cavanaugh summed it up best at his retirement testimonial last Saturday when he said “When I came to Stratford I could not believe this department does what it does” he added “The town of Stratford will never realize what a great Fire Department it has”. I agree!

    I often say, there is no “I” in the word team. That being said, I would truly appreciate it if this particular topic was removed from this blog and the space dedicated to subjects of much greater importance.

  5. 5 jezebel282

    Chief Murray,

    “there is no “I” in the word team.”
    Interestingly, there is no “I” in the word “Leader” either. The truth is that we only have a handful (maybe even not that many) in Stratford. (You know who you are.)

    “appreciate it if this particular topic was removed from this blog”
    That only happens if the posting is about a private citizen, is completely erroneous, irrelevant or profane. Since none are the case here, it won’t happen. Although your objection is noted.

    “the ones who truly deserve accolades for their actions during the Tornado are the members of the Stratford Public Works Department”
    See: https://stratfordcharter.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/bravo/

    “For example, last year Assistant Chief Dan Ross received a Department Medal of Valor for pulling a man out of a burning building without the protection of his structural firefighting gear. Firefighters Bill Hansen, Kevin Fagan and Mike Preston received Medals of Merit for their attempt at making a rescue at a house fire without protection of a hose-line and Firefighter Tricia Wetmore received a Medal of Merit for saving a young child’s life en-route to the hospital in the back of a police cruiser.”
    It is simply sad that these accounts are only made public once a year at the FD’s testimonial dinner.
    But here, I will agree with you. It was heartbreaking to witness Assistant Chief Dan Ross being forced into retirement at 48 years old. The failure of Ron Ing and the Harkins administration to explore options to keep him is disgraceful.

    According to most politicians in this Town, this is a teeny tiny little blog that nobody reads. Besides, I didn’t give you the award, did I? So, if I go out of my way just a little bit to point out a job well done who’s to know?

  6. 6 1george1

    On 9/11 Military, Police, Fire, & EMS all RAN TOWARDS DANGER.

    I have family who was Fire Chief of a Volunteer Fire Department.
    He is exceptional. However I prefer trained Professionals …..
    “To protect and serve ….”

    I do not denigrate the value of those people, nor teahers, nor any
    other workers.

    I take issue when “political people” throw monopoly money at people
    and political people are like vampires who suck the community dry, and
    like ghouls feeding on fellow human beings for kick backs or steered ..$$.

    Some of the people within government & politics have D I S G R A C E D
    themselves, in my opinion.

    It is good to show the value of working men and women.

    If it was sustainable for everyone in private and public sector to have paid
    Health Care and pension comparable to legitimate and decent regular pay
    ……… I am on board ……..

    For this post and the specifics within the topic:

    Tom Murray deserves his props

    Generally the Fire Department deserves their props

    There are many decent, hard working americans who play by the rules
    who deserve their props, and rules, like Liberty & Justice. equal for … ALL!

  7. 7 1george1

    I have high respect for Tom Murray as a Fire Professional and as
    a representative for Fire Union interest.

    I have high respect for the Police, Fire, EMS competency.

    I have issue with:
    1) fire truck antics, pricing, and possible steering
    2) unmanaged O. T.
    3) Pensions over defined contribution levels UNLESS – they were
    completely paid by INVESTMENT R. O. I. – Then I do NOT CARE.

    However when projected PENSION COST in 5 years wil be 10 Mils
    for under 800 Defined Benefit Pensions – don’t cry to me or memory
    of me that I had not warned people about unsustainability.

    For over 1 hour it has not rained.

    I have heard Lordship got hit, as expected.
    No power in parts of Lordship + part of Oronoque

    I understand 400,000 people are without power, just in CT.
    > About 40 new State Troopers double crossed & gone last week,
    before Hurricane.
    > About 40 new State Troopers double crossed & gone next week
    before potential “SUM of ALL FEARS” 10 anniversay of 9/11.

    The enemy is the Rockefeller / Bush / Cheney – Executive, Legislative,
    Corporate, & rank Intelligence Community.

    PROPS to:
    U I – C L & P emergency workers
    Telephone & Cable emergency workers
    Gas, Oil, Water emergency workers
    Public Safety: Police, Fire, EMS workers


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: