Several Chattanooga firefighters traveled to accept the award at the First Responder Recognition Ceremony, which is every year on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Photo: Deputy Chief Seth Miller)

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security recognized the Chattanooga firefighters who responded to last year’s fatal Woodmore Elementary School bus crash.

Homeland Security Commissioner David Purkey presented the Governor’s Certificate Award to Capt. Keith Liles and eight others who went to the state capital Monday for the First Responder Recognition Ceremony.

Purkey said:

On Nov. 21, 2016, a school bus carrying 37 K–5 students from Woodmore Elementary School crashed into a tree, killing six children and injuring many more. This incident drew national attention due to the tragic loss of life and the coverage that followed related to the bus driver.

What did not make the news were the heroic actions of Chattanooga firefighters. This was a very complicated extrication operation. The bus was partially wrapped around a large tree. In addition to the injured and deceased students, several were trapped in the twisted wreckage. It took the firefighters roughly two hours to free all of the victims.

Even knowing the gravity of what they were dealing with, the firefighters fell back on their training and stayed focused until the job was done. As a result, many other children on that bus were saved due to the heroic actions of the firefighters and the support they received from EMS and police.

Below is a list of all the firefighters who were involved in the fire department’s response to the crash:

  • Capt. Keith Liles
    Capt. David Tallent
    Capt. Al Walker
    Lt. Ronnie Goss
    Keith Edgemon
    Brandon Fryar
    Charles Zinzer
    Jeffery Bonner
    Capt. John Lehman
    Capt. Richie Taylor
    Capt. Al Walker
    Capt. Michael Montieth
    Lt. Justin Vice
    Lt. Ronnie Goss
    Lt. Jonathan Higgins
    Terrance Watkins
    Keith Edgemon
    William Crackel
    Edgar Patton
    Jeffery Bonner
    Capt. Keith Liles
    Capt. Will Andrews
    Capt. Travis Williams
    Nate Middlebrooks
    Avery Hubbard
    Capt. Dusty Rose
    Capt. David Tallent
    Chris Willmore
    Brandon Fryar
    Lt. Jason Rains
    Chris Warren
    Charles Zinzer
    Lt. Fred Edgemon
    Jack Thompson
    Andrew Womac
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