555 Fitness Hero WOD
- AMRAP in 15 minutes
- 6 Deadlifts (255/165 lb)
- 9 Hand Release Push-Ups
- 12 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
Gerard T. Nevins lived a life of sweet contradictions. His primary job was fighting fires. But when he was not pulling people from burning buildings, he was tending to his small farm in the backyard of his house in Campbell Hall, N.Y.
"It was a way he could totally disconnect from all the madness of Manhattan," his brother Stephen Nevins said. "He would just make his way through the community every day as if he was just a farmer."
In his neighborhood, people recognized Firefighter Nevins, 46, as the man who raised pigs, goats and chickens and sold fresh eggs. He was also known as a doting father to Daniel, 7, and Andrew, 5.
Among the men at Rescue 1 in Midtown Manhattan, Firefighter Nevins was a keeper of traditional values. He was an 18-year veteran of the department who vehemently opposed ordering take-out food because he thought that cooking together helped to cement the brothers' bond.
To his wife Marie, Firefighter Nevins was simply a devoted husband, whom she fell in love with at first sight in 1979. "It was just one of those things where he looked at me, and I melted and that was it," she said. "It was that way for the next 20 years."
The oncoming 6x9 tour was all aboard at elite Rescue 1 in Manhattan and the members were awaiting six p.m. roll call. FF Gerry Nevins, while placing his gear on the rig, was discussing assignments and the forthcoming tour with other members. At 1745 hours, conversations were interrupted rudely by the tone alarm. Due to multiple phone calls, Rescue 1 was ordered to respond with first-alarm units to 140 West 71st Street.
As they cleared their West 43rd Street quarters, they heard the first- due engine, Engine 40, transmit a 10-75. They had a job. While en route, they heard Engine 40, on an urgent basis, advise all units that West 71st Street was blocked by parked vehicles and hydrants near the building were inaccessible, necessitating long hose stretches.
On arrival, there was an extremely heavy fire condition on the fourth floor, extending to the fifth floor of a nine-story, occupied MD (multiple dwelling). Occupants were being removed via aerial ladder. Rescue 1 members split into three teams: team #1 was assigned to perform VES (ventilation, entry, search) in the fire and adjoining apartments; team #2 (FFs Nevins and O’Keefe) was assigned VES of all apartments and floors above the fire floor (five through nine); and team #3 was sent to the roof.
Beginning with the floor above the fire, FFs Nevins and O’Keefe forced entry and searched 15 apartments on the fifth and sixth floors. Upon entering apartment 6-F, FF Nevins found three occupants. He advised them to remain inside the apartment. One of the individuals informed the firefighter that there was a woman in apartment 8-B who was in a very bad situation.
Looking up through a shaft window, FF Nevins observed heavy smoke pushing from an apartment on the eighth floor. Upon informing the officer of this situation, FF Nevins immediately was ordered to the eighth floor, while FF O’Keefe made a quick search of the seventh floor. The self-closing stairwell doors on the fourth (fire) and eighth floors had been blocked open, resulting in a high build-up of heat and smoke throughout the eighth floor.
With zero visibility and extreme heat conditions, the crawling FF Nevins searched the eighth-floor hallway and located the open door to apartment 8-B. Feeling his way in the blinding smoke, near exhaustion and with his Vibralert ringing, he continued his search of 8-B into a rear bedroom.
FF Nevins knew he had a very short time until his air ran out. Despite this, he pressed his search and located two victims. He transmitted a 10-45 to Battalion 11 for both victims. FF Nevins dragged the first victim to the living room near the apartment entrance. Returning to the bedroom for the second victim, he felt the form of a third unconscious person. He again transmitted a 10-45 to Battalion 11. While removing the second victim, additional assistance arrived to aid in the removal of the three unconscious victims.
As Battalion Chief Lyons stated in his report, "FF Nevins showed initiative and personal bravery by continuing the search after his Vibralert alarm sounded. With his air supply dangerously low and zero visibility, he found and rescued not only the original victim, but two others as well." FF Nevins’ actions were in the highest traditions of the New York City Fire Department.