|The Medal of Honor award is given to a member of the Fire District who, responsibly, in the line of duty or while off-duty, gives his/her life, or distinguishes him/herself by an act of extreme courage involving the risk of imminent danger to his/her life, with knowledge of such risk, performs an act of conspicuous heroism which furthers the highest traditions of the fire service.
Firefighters Scott Kohler and Matt Towner were given the Medal of Honor at our annual awards and recognition banquet on Feb. 1, 2018 for selflessly risking their lives for another human being.
On September 6, 2017 at 3:49 am, a residential fire was dispatched to Top O’ Scott Street in HR305’s response area. Initial information was that there was a person trapped inside. Worst possible scenario, but one we train extensively on. HR305 (Capt. Kyle Olson, AO Andrew Brian, FF Scott Kohler, and FF Matt Towner) arrived on scene in minutes and found the two story home had a lot of fire coming from the front door. The crew went into rescue mode and Capt. Olson split the crew into two teams to search within the large home. Firefighters Kohler and Towner headed to the second floor on their search. After they went upstairs to the landing, the carpet stuck to their boots from the intense heat. The hallway and bedroom door was ready to ignite any minute.
They found the patient in the upstairs bedroom. FFs Kohler and Towner shut the door behind them realizing at that moment, they were not going out the same way they came in. Once inside the room, the door was burning through and it was only a matter of minutes or less that the room was going to flash over. FF Towner broke out the window and FF Kohler cleared furniture. FF Kohler set his bail hook, climbed out, and was set up perfectly outside against the wall. He looked up and saw the flames over FF Towner’s head. FF Towner grabbed the patient and she came out perfectly also, head first and into FF Kohler’s lap. FF Towner came out quickly to join FF Kohler. The room flashed instantly at that moment. They hung outside, under the window for less than minute before E301 brought them a ladder. With that lifesaver in place, they helped the patient down to the ground.
An unbelievable act of courage and bravery.