On Nov. 26 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, three Revere firefighters were among the honorees at the 30th Annual Firefighter of the Year Awards.
Lt. Sean Griffin, Firefighter Frank Trichilo and Firefighter Paul McInnis were honored for a heroic water rescue on April 16, 2018. On that date, a box alarm was struck for a motor vehicle accident on North Shore Road, with reports of people trapped inside a vehicle that had veered off the road into the Pines River. Engine 5 was first on the scene and Lt. Griffin instructed Firefighter Trichilo to prepare the hose line flotation equipment while he and Firefighter McInnis started down to the shoreline. The vehicle was nearly submerged and with the airbags deployed it was hard to see inside. Witnesses said an occupant was still inside.
With the situation rapidly deteriorating, Lt. Griffin and Firefighter McInnis entered the water without cold water suits, wearing just their Class B uniforms, while Firefighter Trichilo assisted from the shore. Lieutenant Griffin and Firefighter McInnis waded out 25 feet in the 43-degree water. It was windy and they were wading through water about five feet deep. They reached the submerged vehicle and were able to open the driver’s side door and removed the driver – who was disoriented, injured and weak, but alive. They placed him on his back and took him safely to shore where he was treated and then transported to the hospital. They conducted a secondary search for additional occupants but none were found.
The three Revere Fire Department members received a Group Meritorious Conduct Award while Lieutenant Griffin and Firefighter McInnis also received Medals of Valor.