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BFD Firefighter/Paramedics Receive Commendation from Billerica for Ice Rescue

Burlington Firefighters/Paramedics Josh Carabello and Josh Landry were recognized by the Billerica Fire Chief and the Billerica Select Board for their participation in treating a victim at an ice rescue in Billerica on December 21, 2022. In an email Burlington Fire Chief Andrew Connerty thanked the Town of Billerica for acknowledging these brave individuals.

“Too often, exceptional work goes unrecognized. I appreciate our neighboring community’s Fire Chief and Select Board for including our Fire Department members in this special recognition,” said Connerty.

A statement from Billerica Fire Chief Robert Cole reads: 

On December 21, 2022 Fire Alarm Operator Diane Deloge received a 911 call from Middlesex County Deputy Sheriff Nick Gianino reporting that a person had fallen through the ice at the pond at 70 Treble Cove Road.  Members from Engine Companies One, Two and Five with Car 10 as incident command were dispatched.  While en route firefighters Frank Rao from Engine Five and Joseph Ferri from Engine Two donned water rescue suits.  Upon Engine Five’s arrival firefighter Rao was immediately tethered by Lieutenant Jeff Strunk and firefighter Robert Fitzmaurice and crossed the ice to make contact with and assist the victim. Upon Engine Two’s arrival firefighter Ferri was tethered to an ice rescue sled by Captain Joseph Bukoiemski, Captain William Paskiewicz, Lieutenant Joe Keane, firefighters Paul Dinsmore, Brett Fredrickson and Calvin Pellegrino along with Billerica Police Officer Robert Simmons.  He then crossed the ice to firefighter Rao and the victim where they secured the victim and signaled members on shore to pull them to safety.  Burlington paramedics Joshua Carabello and Joshua Landry then tended to the hypothermic victim and then transported him to Lahey Clinic with a positive outcome.

The first engine company was on scene and deploying within five minutes of the call.  Members made contact with the victim immediately and within ten minutes of the call he was safely delivered to waiting paramedics.  Rescue members were tethered to shore so as not to become secondary victims.  Fire Alarm Operator Deloge stayed on the phone with Deputy Gianino and instructed him to maintain visual and verbal contact with the victim.  These objectives that are drilled and trained on annually were successfully put into action without hesitation. 

The proficiency and teamwork displayed by this diverse group of public safety professionals at this incident are to be commended.  The extraordinary efforts of firefighters Rao and Ferri deserve special commendation for their immediate and lifesaving action.  It is my privilege to recognize all members involved and award this Letter of Commendation.  Thank you for your service to our community.

Click Here to view the January 9, 2023 meeting of the Billerica Select Board, the commendation starts at 17:30.