The Philadelphia Fire Department held a ceremony on Dec. 20 to recognize dozens of members and companies for their bravery and life-saving responses on several emergency incidents.

In addition, 14 members were promoted during the event at the PFD Training Center on Ogontz Avenue.

Fire Commissioner Adam K. Thiel noted that while many of the department’s firefighters and EMS providers are deserving of praise, some find it uncomfortable to step into the spotlight.

“The last thing they want is to be recognized,” Thiel said. “We could spend all day long up here properly, rightfully, righteously recognizing our team members, our units, and so many dedicated individuals for their actions.”

Mayor Jim Kenney was among the dignitaries in attendance, along with many proud relatives, friends and colleagues. Kenney said the members being honored “represent the best of Philadelphia.”

“It’s who you are inside that makes you want to do this,” Kenney said. “When people are running away from the burning building, you are running in — and that takes courage.”


Nearly 60 engines, ladders, medic units — plus a group of instructors at the Philadelphia Fire Academy — received unit citations for their responses on a range of emergencies, from rescuing motorists in flooded vehicles to saving occupants from house fires and rescuing people from the Delaware River.

Six members were singled out for their exemplary actions on two incidents.

Heroism Award 

  • Firefighter Lamont Gore (Ladder 15)

Gore’s extraordinary bravery enabled him to rescue a man from a burning rowhouse after performing an aggressive search-and-rescue operation under extremely dangerous conditions. Two children were also saved from this fire in Bridesburg in 2021; all rescued occupants received skilled and compassionate EMS care and were taken to hospitals. Ten companies received unit citations for their response.

Merit Awards

  • Firefighter Jason Marcinkiewicz (Ladder 16)
  • Firefighter Francis Wnek (Ladder 16)

Letters of Commendation 

  • Firefighter Francis Boettcher (Ladder 16)
  • Firefighter Joe Lalka (Ladder 16)
  • Firefighter Martin O’Donnell (Engine 25)

Marcinkiewicz, Wnek, Boettcher, Lalka and O’Donnell were all recognized for their courageous actions during a 2018 rowhouse fire on the 2500 block of E. Lehigh Ave. Collectively, the firefighters saved four people — rescuing three from windows and carrying out one from the second floor. Medics began life-saving protocols and took all four occupants to the hospital. Five companies received unit citations for their response.


The ceremony included a segment commemorating more than two dozen members who have recently passed away. Some were killed in the line of duty; others died while off-duty – but all were valued members who received their dignified, final honors because of our Funeral Operations Team.

These members support PFD families by providing compassionate and dedicated service under the most difficult circumstances. For their professionalism, tireless work ethic, and attention to detail, the Funeral Operations Team received special recognition:

  • Battalion Chief Derek Bowmer  
  • Capt. Clifford Gilliam  
  • Capt. Robert Jeter  
  • Capt. Andry Metellus  
  • Lt. William Garland  
  • Lt. Stephen Rizzo  
  • Lt. Jesse Scott 


The ceremony was capped off by the promotion of 14 members. Congratulations to all! 

Deputy Chief to Assistant Chief 

  • Gerald Boyle  

Battalion Chief to Deputy Chief 

  • Gustav Baumann 

Captain to Battalion Chief 

  • Devon Richio  
  • Brandon Wilson  

Lieutenant to Captain 

  • Steven Jiles  
  • Jemal Johnson  
  • Christopher Lentz  

Firefighter to Lieutenant 

  • Joseph Pedrick  
  • Michael Leone  
  • Mark St. Marie  
  • Michael Sullivan  
  • Stacey Carter  
  • Thomas Jones  
  • Donna Garrett