Three O&R Rescuers Honored with Gas Industry Heroism Award
Three Orange & Rockland Gas Operations employees who rescued an elderly Monsey man from a burning building in December have been awarded the Society of Gas Operators’ (SOGO) prestigious 2020 Dick Morgan Heroism Award.
SOGO, an industry group that provides information and public education programs about the gas business, established the Heroism Award in 1996. The award was subsequently renamed for Dick Morgan, a long-time Con Edison emergency management official and former SOGO president, who was killed on 9/11 in the collapse of one of the Twin Towers while assisting the Fire Department of New York.
The three honored O&R employees – Ted Ryder, James Lynch and Ross Dailey – were returning to the Spring Valley Operations Center after a morning assignment last December 4 when they stopped to investigate suspicious smoke coming from a house in Monsey. After Ryder called the apparent fire into authorities, a young woman outside the house told the O&R men that her elderly grandfather was still in the building which by then was engulfed in flames.
All three O&R employees are highly trained and experienced in emergency response work – Ryder is a former chief of the all-volunteer Nyack Fire Department – and they knew they had to act fast. They quickly conferred as they hurried toward the blaze, agreed on a simple plan and put it into action.
Ryder and Lynch ran into the burning building, yelling and pounding on doors to find any sign of residents. Dailey set up outside the house to back up his partners, ready to rescue them if necessary. Ryder and Lynch found an elderly man asleep in the kitchen, shook him awake and pulled him out of the house. No one was injured.
O&R President and CEO Robert Sanchez told the three heroes, “We are all extremely proud of your courage and bravery in helping to save a life.”
O&R Vice President – Operations Francis W. Peverly said, “I commend you on the actions taken on that eventful day in December and congratulate you on a recognition of which you are so deserving.”
One of the O&R heroes, James Lynch, spoke for himself and his colleagues: ”We are honored to receive such a prestigious award…the feeling is quite humbling.”
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies. O&R is a regulated utility that provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company), and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.