Merit and bravery; Grand Junction firefighters honored

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We often look to firefighters, police and paramedics to save our lives.
But sometimes t hey are called on to save each other.

Monday, two heroes from right here in the Grand Valley were recognized for their service.

Captain Clark Thompson and firefighter Jerome Gardner were each presented with a medal of merit.

The men were honored for their roles in saving a member of their crew during the White Hall fire back in September.

They say actions taken during the fire have been a learning experience for the entire department.

"This being a large scale fire we definitely learned something, and over the last several months we've talked about the event and what we're going to do in the future so this doesn't happen again," Thompson said.

During the fire, Thompson and Gardner were putting out flames when another member of their crew, Cory Black fell through the floor.

He landed on his back in the basement.

Thompson called a "mayday," alerting that there was a firefighter in trouble.

Thompson and Gardner then planned a rescue, and were able to save Black's life.

The men say although they are honored, but they were simply doing their jobs.

"It's an absolute honor to receive this award, and we're receiving it for doing our job. It's what we signed up for," Gardner said.