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The original item was published from 9/20/2019 8:20:04 AM to 3/1/2020 12:05:02 AM.

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Posted on: September 20, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Four Sterling Heights Firefighters Receive Valor Awards from The Hundred Club of Detroit

On Wednesday, September 18, 2019, four firefighters from the City of Sterling Heights Fire Department received Valor Awards by the Hundred Club of Detroit at a special annual ceremony in recognition of their remarkable service to our community.

The Hundred Club of Detroit was founded in 1950 and has since recognized the brave first responders who continue to serve our community through public affirmation and gratitude each year with Valor Awards.

“It has been a very busy year for the Sterling Heights Fire Department, and the men and women on our department never stop impressing me with their actions,” said Fire Chief Chris Martin. ”However, on two incidents, four of our staff performed in a manner that I feel rises to the level of having those actions nominated for the Hundred Club of Detroit Valor Awards.” 

Lieutenant Mark Wellhausen and Firefighter Eric Refenes were honored for their actions at the fire that broke out on Christmas Morning, 2018 at the Sterling Troy Apartments.  Many lives were saved that morning by the team work and extreme effort of the Firefighters and Police Officers that responded, but Lt. Wellhausen and FF Refenes directly placed their lives in harm's way to save several trapped residents. It was because of their quick action and rescue efforts that they received a Valor Award.

Captain John Farah and Firefighter Tom Nowicki also received a Valor Award due to their actions at a structure fire on July 3, 2019 which had two young adults trapped in a basement. After one of the victims became delirious and aggressive, they began fighting with Captain Farah and FF Nowicki. The victim knocked the helmet off of Captain Farah and he put him on the ground and laid on top of both victims, trying to keep them from being burned. Captain Farah called a Mayday which alerted the other firefighters on the scene that help was needed. Firefighters began CPR and other life savings procedures as they were rushed to the hospital. Both victims survived, but received significant burns.

“There was an exceptional amount of teamwork that was displayed that morning, and that was the reason we were so successful,” said Chief Martin. “But the specific actions of Captain John Farah and Firefighter Tom Nowicki certainly rise to a different level.”

For more information, please contact Fire Chief Chris Martin at 586-446-2951 or via e-mail at                                                                                                   

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