Photo (L-R): JPCA President Tony Nunziato, Captain Brian P. Gill, Aidan Gill, JPCA 1st VP John Killcommons, Sarah, Ashling and Joan Gill. Credit: Lee Rottenberg

“Hero Award” presented for bravery during inferno


During the Juniper Park Civic Association’s meeting held on Thursday, September 19 at Our Lady of Hope School, FDNY Captain Brian Gill, a Middle Village resident, was presented with the organization’s Hero Award, bestowed upon local residents who commit admirable, heroic acts.

“Our first responders head to work each day leaving their spouses and children at home, not knowing if they’ll survive their shifts,” said Tony Nunziato, President of the Juniper Park Civic Association. “Therefore, it seemed fitting for our community to recognize the bravery and sacrifices of Captain Brian Gill.”

The presentation of the award was made by Nunziato and First Vice President John Killcommons, himself a retired FDNY firefighter. Gill’s wife, Sarah, mother, Joan, and children, Aiden and Ashling, attended and were given small tokens of appreciation.


Last September, FDNY Captain Brian Gill responded to a call of an apartment fire in the Bronx. His team included Firefighters Kevin Dorry, Jr., and Pedro Velazquez. First, they were informed that water would be delayed. Next, they were warned that high winds would also be a factor. As they reached the 12th floor fire apartment door, they realized they could also be subject to blowtorch conditions. Knowing there were people trapped inside, they proceeded.

After they got the door open, Dorry found the first victim, an adult female, and removed her to the hallway. As Velazquez focused his extinguisher on the wall of flames in front of them, Captain Gill crawled through the apartment to search for more victims.

He made it to a back bedroom where he found a semi-conscious male. He brought the man to safety by shielding his body from the flames with his own body. The man was crying to save his wife, who had already been rescued, and his baby. Captain Gill rushed back in to find the baby, passing FF Velazquez who had located a teenaged boy. It was soon discovered that the boy was the “baby” the man was referring to.

All of the victims had been successfully located and rescued thanks to Captain Gill’s strong leadership. Earlier this year, he received the Uniformed Fire Officers Association Medal, and on Sept 19th, he was presented with the Juniper Park Civic Association Hero Award.