Chattanooga Fire honors heroes during annual awards ceremony


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – If you want to see a hero attend the annual Chattanooga Fire Department awards ceremony.

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You’ll find plenty there.

CFD recognized several firefighters and civilians during the event Monday night including Chattanooga Fire Captain Steve Everett.

He received CFD’s top award, the Medal of Heroism, for saving a woman’s life while off duty.

“We’re trained to help. We come in, seen somebody that’s house was on fire. We wanted to make sure everyone was okay,” Capt. Everett said.

On September 17th, Captain Everett came across a house fire and acted even though he wasn’t wearing firefighter gear.

He said he called 911 and that neighbors told him that someone may still be in the house.

“Mr. Jones said he thought he’d seen somebody in the house. So him and myself went and checked the back and when we went through the back door we found the lady in the back room of the house and we got her out on the deck,” Capt. Steve Everett said.

CFD is also recognized the neighbors for rushing to help save the woman’s life.

Robert Gifford, Tim Jones, Lamar Skinner, Cecil Skyles, and Stephen Skyles received the Citizen Achievement Award.

“It’s kinda strange seeing something like that happen right in your own back yard.  I’m just glad we got her out,” Skinner said.

Gifford said even if Captain Everett wasn’t there, he would’ve reacted the same way.

Gifford, who is an electrician, said he’s been burned before.

“So I know what a fire feels like.  It’s not good and when it comes to something like that, that’s when you can tell the difference between a coward and a hero.  A coward runs away and a hero runs in.  Firefighters, they’ve got my utmost respect,” Gifford said.

A few other firefighters were recognized individually.

Joshua Burchard received the Special Award.

Jack Thompson was awarded Firefighter of the Year.

Lt. Scott Sheets was awarded the Medal of Valor.