The Tacoma Fire Department presented a Medal of Valor Award to Firefighter Annie Craig for rescuing a citizen in a near-drowning incident in Commencement Bay on Feb. 15. The department’s highest award, the Medal of Valor, is given to firefighters who demonstrate acts of bravery and heroism in hazardous situations.
After arriving at Owen Beach in Point Defiance Park for an unrelated 911 call, Ladder 3 firefighters spotted John Bronson swimming in the water near an overturned canoe. Rebecca Thayer-Blunt, Bronson’s step-daughter, swam out to help Bronson get the canoe back to the beach, but the two were unable to do so by themselves. As the Ladder 3 crew assembled equipment to assist from shore, Bronson began struggling to keep his head above water, submerging several times. Firefighter Annie Craig entered the water and swam to Bronson. With Thayer-Blunt’s assistance, Craig towed Bronson about 40 feet back to shore, where Bronson was medically evaluated, warmed and then released at the scene.
Certificates of Commendation were also presented to Captain Jennifer Gunnel, Firefighter Jack Hawkins, and Rebecca Thayer-Blunt for their role in the rescue efforts.
Award Recipients: Medal of Valor Award -- Annie Craig, Firefighter Letter of Commendation -- Jennifer Gunnel, Captain; Jack Hawkins, Firefighter; Rebecca Thayer-Blunt, Civilian.