Francis C. – Firefighter
NAH Hero of the Year Finalist
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Francis is a full-time firefighter and part-time nurse at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. Before serving in these life-saving capacities, Fran was a Paramedic. Firefighting runs in Fran’s family. His father was a retired Philadelphia Fire Department Captain who served for more than 30 years.
On July 4, 2012, Fran entered a smoke-filled home and heard a woman in distress on the 2nd floor. When Fran found her, she was trapped, panicked and out of breathe from breathing in too much smoke. In a split-second decision, Fran took a big breath, removed his tank and put it on the woman. Both got out safely, although Fran was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Fran later met the woman he saved, and presented her with about $500 of his own overtime pay to help her and her family.
On April 9, Fran was injured in a warehouse fire. He was inspecting an adjacent building to the warehouse when the wall and roof began to fall. Fran was buried in the rubble but managed to dig himself out. Two of Fran’s Ladder 10 firefighter brothers, Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, were killed in the fire and and Firefighter Patrick Nally sustained serious injuries. Fran was able to return to work 3 weeks later. Fran donated his Hero of the Month prize money to the Philadelphia Firefighters Local 22 Widow’s Fund.
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