FDNY acknowledges meritorious acts, awards top honors for past three years at 155th Medal Day

June 5, 2024

The FDNY held its 155th Medal Day Ceremony on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, honoring the lifesaving actions by its members during incidents throughout the previous calendar year. The ceremony, which dates back to 1869, is one of the Department's most time-honored traditions.

"Congratulations to all of our Medal Day recipients whose selfless acts are acknowledged today," Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at the ceremony, which was held at City Hall Plaza in Manhattan. "Each day, our members confront unpredictable challenges that would make most hesitate. Yet, the men and women of the FDNY remain unwavering to their dedication to saving lives. On behalf of a grateful city, thank you for always answering the call." 

"Medal Day is a celebration of courage, sacrifice and the winning spirit of the men and women of the FDNY," Chief of Department John Hodgens said. "Every single day, members of the FDNY respond to fires and emergencies and help New Yorkers get through what very well may be the worst day of their life. Today, we honor those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty — approaching perilous, unpredictable situations with bravery and skill. The firefighters and EMTs of the FDNY do not shy away from danger. They confront it head-on, fully aware of the risks but driven by the commitment to protect and serve." 

Every three years, the FDNY holds special recognition for the top Fire and EMS medal recipients from the preceding three years. This year's recipients are as follows:

Firefighter Artur Podgorski, Ladder 108, was awarded the Harry M. Archer Medal, which is awarded every three years to a holder of the Chief of Department Peter J. Ganci Jr. Medal and the NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Medal. Firefighter Podgorski conducted a lifesaving rope rescue in November 2022, saving a person dangling from a window on the 20th floor of a burning apartment building.

EMT Gary Hui and EMT Samuel Wright were awarded the Paramedic Carlos Lillo-Lieutenant Ricardo Quinn Medal, which is awarded every three years to a holder of the Christopher J. Prescott Medal. EMTs Hui and Wright rescued an unconscious driver after their dump truck crashed and trapped them inside the vehicle as it started to burn.

The 2024 top medal recipients for incidents that occurred in 2023 were given to the following FDNY members:

Lieutenant Mark Russo, Rescue Battalion, was awarded the 2024 Chief of Department Peter J. Ganci Jr. Medal and the NYS Honorary Fire Chiefs Association Medal for an incident that happened in February 2023. Lt. Russo and Squad 8 rescued a firefighter trapped on the second floor of a burning building on Staten Island.  

EMT Emmanuel Titus and EMT Shawn Griffin were awarded the 2024 Christopher J. Prescott Medal for an incident that happened in April 2023. The two EMTs responded to a 911 call in regard to an incident on the Kosciuszko Bridge. They made contact with a person sitting on the edge of the bridge, intending to jump. EMT Griffin climbed over the side of the bridge, and the two FDNY members established trust with the patient — eventually guiding them back to safety.

A new medal was also presented this year: The Battalion Chief Thomas J. Neary Harlem Firefighters Medal was awarded to Captain Johnathan Shields, Ladder 42, for rescuing three individuals during a fire in the Bronx.

Read through the 2024 FDNY Medal Day Book for a full list of this year’s medal recipients, as well as the stories that detail their bravery, at the link below.

2024-06-05 155th Medal Day