Pulaski Association Medal
Firefighter Charles S. Frame
Ladder Company 127
February 28, 2002, 2214 hours
139-05 85th Drive, Queens
Appointed to the FDNY on July 16, 1989. Previously
assigned to Ladder 116. Member of the Emerald Society. Cited for bravery
once previously. Attended
the University of Tampa and Suffolk Community College. Resides in West
Island, with his wife, Denise, and their children, Jesse, Brianna and
On the wintry night of the last day of February 2002, Ladder Company 127 and
its companion unit, Engine Company 298, were dispatched at 2214 hours by a
phone alarm for a fire in a very large apartment house in Jamaica, Queens.
arrival, the 10-75 signal for a working fire was transmitted for a fire
in apartment 5-G on the fifth floor of the 48-unit, six-story, 300- by
100-foot, non-fireproof, multiple dwelling at 139-05 85th Drive.
S. Frame had been designated the irons man on that tour as part of the
Ladder 127 forcible entry team. The rest of the team was rounded
out with Lieutenant Robert Stegmeier and FF Michael J. Culen (can
man). Together, the two Firefighters and Lieutenant made their way to the
FF Charles Frame (second from left)
with members of 127 Truck and the Company in action at right. photos courtesy
of FF Charles S. Frame
Geared up with complete PPE (personal protective equipment),
self-contained breathing apparatus, the trio encountered very heavy
fire at the apartment door.
FF Culen used the 21/2-gallon fire extinguisher to hold back the
fire so that the door to bedroom number 2 of the long, four-bedroom flat could
This heads-up move allowed the Firefighters to enter the apartment
begin their search for victims after hearing faint moans from within.
Lieutenant Stegmeier’s order, FFs Frame and Culen stood at the right
side of the wall, with the Officer to the left. FF Culen used
the remainder of the can to knock down enough fire extending from bedroom number
2 so that
they could begin their search of the long apartment.
and Frame continued their perilous way down the narrow,
cluttered, interior hallway of the flat until they reached
bedroom number 4, the
bedroom deepest in the apartment. It was here that FF Frame
came upon the first
victim--a male later identified as Jorge Bello, age 46.
Frame radioed a 10-45 signal for the injured victim, which Lieutenant Stegmeier
relayed to Battalion Chief Paul Tauber,
Battalion 50, and
to alert EMS. FF Culen
then found a female victim, identified later as Elizabeth
Ines, age 48. Both victims were alive and plans for their speedy
There was no front fire escape, which would
facilitate a relatively easier removal, indicating that both victims would
be taken back via the
same slow and arduous route their rescuers had taken
to find them. FF Frame radioed
this information to his Officer. With Lieutenant Stegmeier’s assistance,
FFs Frame and Culen made their way back through the narrow
and furniture-cluttered interior hallway, carrying the
victims out to the safety of the public hallway.
Engine Company 298, after
a difficult and long (15 lengths)
stretch, now arrived on the fifth floor with its vital
charged hose-line and extinguished the remaining
fire. Meanwhile, FF Culen had begun CPR on the female
victim, to whom the
resuscitator also was applied. She was removed by EMS
and admitted to the New York Hospital-Cornell
Burn Center to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation.
The other victim, Jorge Bello, also was admitted to
Cornell for smoke inhalation.
FF Frame placed himself
at unusual personal risk and performed in a manner that surely preserved
this man’s life, worthy of the highest traditions
of FDNY. For these reasons, he is presented with the
Pulaski Association Medal today.—JM