It was a special awards night on Monday for the Cardinal Joint Fire District in Canfield. Six firefighters involved in the heroic rescue of a man from a Green Township barn fire were honored.
That February fire nearly cost Thomas Zarinsky his life.
When crews got to the barn fire, the roof had collapsed and Zarinsky was trapped inside.
“Everything was seamless,” said Capt. Conner O’Halloran. “It was just one of those things, we were working so close as a team. We didn’t have to tell the next person what needed to be done. They already knew.”
O’Halloran received the Medal of Galantry, which is awarded to people who took great personal risk to save another.
The firefighters who were there that day did what they were trained to do. They were all honored for their quick action and bravery, and for taking a burn-covered Zarinsky to the hospital, which ultimately saved his life.
“Everything flowed perfectly. It was a fluid incident and I couldn’t be happier with our response,” O’Halloran said.
They continued to use the Green Township barn fire afterward for training.
“For about two weeks afterward, we reviewed this incident with different shifts,” O’Halloran said. “We kind of nitpicked a little bit on what we could do better but I think the best thing — even the other shifts said, they weren’t there — how seamless it was.”
He said the only thing he would’ve changed about that night was the weather, which was bitterly cold with a strong wind.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Conner O’Halloran as fire chief, rather than captain. We regret the error.