The Naval Station Rota, Spain, Fire Department recently was named winner of the Navy’s Fire and Emergency Service Award’s Firefighter Heroism Award.

Rota earned the award for a Sept. 11, 2005, off-base blaze in which base firefighters helped rescue 28 people from a burning apartment building.

One adult and one young child died in the early-morning fire.

After the initial request from the off-base Spain Fire Control Center, Assistant Fire Chief Timothy Ybarra made a second alarm, requesting more equipment and emergency medical services at the scene. Eventually, all off-duty base firefighters were recalled to duty.

Firefighter Jeronimo Enriquez rescued 16 people from the building’s third floor and firefighter Ramon Pravia rescued nine people from the second floor. Pravia was later injured and hospitalized with injured neck and has since returned to duty.

When firefighters Petty Officer 3rd Class David Jimenez and Javier Arellano entered the building to fight the fire, they rescued three more people from a second-floor apartment.

In addition to those named above, firefighters Manuel T. Ramos, Miguel R. Silva, Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Loya, Petty Officer 2nd Class Daniel J. Brito and Petty Officer 3rd Class Isaac M. Paddock were honored.

Rota wasn’t the only European base with a winner. Sigonella Petty Officer 1st Class Brian Robinson was selected as the runner-up for the Military Fire Officer of the Year. Robinson has since transferred from the base.

The winners are in the running for the Department of Defense Fire and Emergency Services Awards, which will be announced later this year.

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