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MailTribune.com
  • Firefighters honored for Oak Knoll work

  • Three Medford firefighters and one Ashland firefighter have received unit citations from the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association for professional performance during the 2010 Oak Knoll fire that claimed 11 homes.
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  • Three Medford firefighters and one Ashland firefighter have received unit citations from the Oregon Fire Chiefs Association for professional performance during the 2010 Oak Knoll fire that claimed 11 homes.
    Medford Fire's Capt. Erin Sawall, engineer John Murphy and firefighter Derrek Butterfield received the honors, while Ashland Fire and Rescue's Chris Chambers received a Distinguished Conduct Award.
    The Oregon Fire Chiefs Association presented the awards Saturday.
    Chambers was first responder to the fire and began a door-to-door evacuation after assessing how quickly the fire was spreading.
    Sawall, Murphy and Butterfield were part of the second-alarm response dispatched to the fire and were successful in stopping the flames' lateral advancement.
    The awards were given out Saturday in Salem at the 10th annual Oregon Fire Service Meritorious Awards Ceremony and Banquet. In all, 37 awards were given, honoring more than 100 people, including fire service personnel, volunteers and passers-by who helped in emergencies.
    Other Southern Oregon winners included Applegate Valley Fire District Chief Chris Wolfard, who earned an Award of Excellence for his grant-writing expertise in getting money for a variety of equipment; and Grants Pass firefighters Vince Ownbey and Tyler Nelson, who received a Distinguished Conduct Award for rescuing a woman trapped in a burning trailer in May 2010.
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