Palm Coast, Florida – The Palm Coast Fire Department honored Firefighters for their exceptional dedication and outstanding contributions in the performance of their duties.

Three Unit Commendation awards were bestowed upon crews that contributed to life-saving resuscitation endeavors for individuals experiencing out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest, characterized by an electrical malfunction in the heart leading to irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, disrupts blood flow to vital organs, including the brain and lungs. This condition stands as a prominent cause of mortality, with over 350,000 occurrences annually outside the hospital in the United States. Regrettably, almost 90 percent of those affected succumb to the condition.

Lieutenant Richard Cline (retired), Lieutenant Joseph Paci, Driver Engineer Brandon Davis, Driver Engineer Dylan Mulligan, Driver Engineer Julie Rivera (retired), Firefighter Kyle Gardner, and Firefighter Tyler Major were awarded unit commendations in recognition of their decisive actions that effectively led to the successful resuscitation and the vital attainment of Return of Spontaneous Circulation. Their well-coordinated efforts laid the groundwork for advanced hospital medical care, ultimately resulting in the life-saving rescue of Palm Coast residents Mike Rowlings, Mark Leinemann, and Vito Mattioli.  They were on hand to thank their responders and to assist Fire Chief Berryhill in the presentation of the unit commendations.

Lieutenant Dan Driscoll, Driver Engineer Anton Tagintsev, and Firefighter Joshua Gilliam were additionally honored with a unit commendation for their actions during a motor vehicle crash on January 4, 2024. In this incident, the occupant was discovered trapped upside down in a vehicle engulfed in flames. The quick response by Lieutenant Driscoll and Firefighter Gilliam, involving breaking the window and promptly evacuating the driver, led to a life-saving intervention.

Lieutenant Nikolay Kulev, Driver Engineer Anthony Forte, and Firefighter Gunner Pemberton were presented with a unit commendation for their swift and effective response to a motor vehicle crash on January 5, 2024. In this incident, two occupants, including an infant, were discovered in a vehicle submerged in water. In recognition of his pivotal role in saving another life, Lieutenant Kulev was also honored with the Life Saving Medal. Footage from Flagler County Sheriff’s Office body cameras captured Lieutenant Kulev courageously entering the submerged vehicle, directly rescuing two passengers and ultimately saving their lives.

“We ask our firefighters to deliver their best for our community every time,” stated Fire Chief Kyle Berryhill, “we are proud to recognize these firefighters who demonstrated what our best can be.”

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