Firefighter awarded for pulling man from burning truck

Two and a half months after he pulled a man from a burning pickup truck, Chris Quinlan received the Medal of Valor from the Chehalis Fire Department


By Alex Brown
The Chronicle

SEATTLE — Two and a half months after he pulled a man from a burning pickup truck in Chehalis, Seattle firefighter Chris Quinlan received the Medal of Valor Monday from the Chehalis Fire Department.

The Mossyrock resident was on his way to work in Seattle on Feb. 6 when he came across a crash on I-5, then stopped and a pulled a Centralia man from a truck that was engulfed in flames. He provided medical assistance until the man was taken away by paramedics and provided information to 911 dispatchers that helped coordinate the response to the multi-vehicle incident.

“It takes an exceptional individual to stop when so many people would drive by,” said Chehalis Mayor Dennis Dawes. “We appreciate you more than you know.”

Quinlan, with a large family contingent on hand for the ceremony, deflected the praise.

“From the bottom of my heart, I did not expect this,” he said. “I just did something that I believe thousands of men and women in fire service would have done. I was just given the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.”

Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scroggins surprised Quinlan by showing up to the meeting. Hearing about the off-duty heroics of his firefighter, he said, validates the work of his department.

“We get stories back like this from time to time, and we’re so proud of the good work and sharing the blessings of the training,” Scroggins said. “It’s a big deal to us.”

Chehalis Fire Chief Ken Cardinale said his department was also heartened to hear Quinlan’s story, saying it reflects the values of everyone in the profession.

“A lot of guys can drive by, but for us in the fire service, we just can’t do that,” he said. “You demonstrated that.”

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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