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Fallen Brothers» Derek Martin
2003 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award
March 17, 2003, Tulsa, Oklahoma - Firefighter Derek D. Martin of the St. Louis (MO) Fire Department, who died in the line of duty while attempting to rescue a downed firefighter in a tragic fire in that city, is the recipient of the 2003 Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award, the Tulsa-based PennWell Corporation has announced. Firefighter Martin, 38, succumbed to injuries sustained during the heroic attempted rescue of Firefighter Robert Morrison, who also perished in the tragic fire at the Gravois Refrigeration Company on May 3, 2002.
Martin's widow, Angela Jeanine Martin, will accept the Courage and Valor Medal and cash award of $25,000 on behalf of her husband on April 2, 2003, at the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Martin also left behind three children, who at the time of the incident were ages 13, 11, and 3.
PennWell Corporation, parent company of Fire Engineering magazine and FDIC, North America's largest fire training conference, established the Ray Downey Courage and Valor Award and the not-for-profit Courage and Valor Foundation in 2001, following the World Trade Center disaster, to honor firefighters for meritorious service in the line of duty. The prestigious award, presented annually, honors the memory of Deputy Chief Ray Downey of the Fire Department of New York, the most highly decorated firefighter in that fire department's history and an internationally renowned rescue expert, who was among the 343 firefighters who perished on September 11, 2001.
Firefighter Martin was chosen as the recipient of the 2003 Courage and Valor Award from among several applications submitted to the selection committee, which includes representatives from the fire service, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, and the National Fire Academy Alumni Association.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to honor Firefighter Martin for his heroic effort to rescue his fallen brother," said Robert F. Biolchini, chief executive officer of the PennWell Corporation. "His effort represents thousands of acts of heroism, large and small, performed every day by firefighters throughout the United States, and we're recognizing that selflessness through this award."
Biolchini, along with Battalion Chief Joe Downey and Captain Chuck Downey of FDNY, Ray Downey's sons, will present the award to Mrs. Martin during the FDIC Firefighter Tribute and Opening Ceremony. FDIC is the largest and most comprehensive firefighter training conference and exposition in North America, with more than 26,000 participants expected this year.
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