Weekend events will honor 572 for firefighting efforts

More than 300 recognized for battling tunnel blaze

July 19, 2002|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

More than 500 firefighters from Baltimore and surrounding communities will receive medals today to recognize their response to last July's train tunnel fire and to other emergencies in the past year.

The Baltimore City Fire Department will award medals to 572 individuals, including firefighters from the city and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties, state police and employees of Draeger, a fire equipment company that provided crews with longer-lasting breathing apparatus during the tunnel fire.

More than 300 of the honorees are being recognized for battling the tunnel fire, which erupted a year ago yesterday when a CSX train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed under Howard Street in downtown Baltimore. The fire raged for five days.

The department honors firefighters every year on Medals Day. But this year, in recognition of recipients' efforts at the tunnel fire, the event has been expanded into CSX Medals Weekend, so named because the railroad is sponsoring the event.

Besides receiving medals, the firefighters will attend a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards today and participate in a nondenominational worship service Sunday.

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