The Pampa Fire Department’s Captain Johnny Price and equipment operator Derek Murray were recognized Monday morning at the Gray County Commissioners Court.
County Judge Chris Porter read a proclamation telling the story of the two firefighters rescuing a maintainer driver who had left his vehicle on foot to escape a fire. Pampa Fire Chief Kasey Presson also awarded the two firefighters with medals for their efforts.
“Until you’ve been on a wildfire or been in it, you don’t realize how fast things happen,” Porter said. “We’ve got a great group in Gray County and it’s spread across all of our departments. They work together and work well. It’s almost like they are one solid unit when they show up.
“We have our little squabbles, but we all achieve the same goal and work through those. It’s not just our firefighters; it’s our County guys on the maintainers fighting fires, bringing the water and keeping the supplies coming. It’s our community who supports us while things are going after it happens...it’s nice to be able to recognize people for what they do while they are just doing their job, especially when they are heroes while they are doing their job.
The full proclamation is as follows:
“WHEREAS, Gray County is always grateful for the contributions of those who make a difference in and protect the lives of our residents; and
“WHEREAS, Two of our own heroes are Captain Johnny Price who has been with the City of Pampa Fire Department since 2016 and Equipment Operator Derek Murray who has been with the City of Pampa Fire Department since 2018; and
“WHEREAS, On March 29,2022, Pampa Firefighter’s Price and Murray were dispatched, on Pampa Fire Department Booster 4, to a call of a wildfire at the intersection of Highway 70 and County Road I. Booster 4 was assigned to protect a road maintainer that was cutting a free line on the North flank of the fire. During the performance of this task, a wind shift caused the fire conditions to change rapidly. Firefighter Murray, under the threat of being caught in the flame front, drove through the fire while Firefighter Price performed a full fog stream from the front perch of Booster 4 and drove into the black, burned area. After entering the black, the firefighters realized the maintainer had stalled and was being overrun with active fire. The firefighters moved Booster 4 toward the maintainer and then attempted to extinguish the flames from the black to protect the driver. During this maneuver it was apparent that the maintainer driver had left the road maintainer and was attempting to flee the flame front on foot. Firefighters Price and Murray, uncertain if the maintainer driver would reach safety, drove back through the flames for the protection and rescue of the maintainer driver, without regard for their own safety.; and
“WHEREAS, Firefighters Price and Murray on Booster 4, were able to rescue the maintainer driver and deliver him to EMS where he was evaluated and released back to duty, while Firefighter Price sustained burns to his left elbow and wrist; and
“WHEREAS, Many firefighters in our community perform dangerous duties, this heroic action is recorded for posterity, due to the heroic actions and fast, critical decision making skills of Firefighters Price and Murray, without regard of their own safety to save the life of another; and
“WHEREAS, Gray County is a better place by having heroes like Captain Price, Equipment Operator Murray and the men and women of all of the Fire Departments inside of Gray County.
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, CHRIS PORTER, County Judge of Gray County, Texas, by virtue of the authority vested in me, do hereby recognize the heroic work of all our dedicated firefighters, but especially CAPTAIN JOHNNY PRICE AND EQUIPMENT OPERATOR DEREK MURRAY ON THIS MOST HEROIC EVENT IN WITNESS.
“WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of GRAY COUNTY TEXAS, to be affixed this 2nd day of May 2022.”
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