P.A. native named Houston’s Firefighter of the Year

Written by Staff Report on . Posted in Local

HOUSTON - Two Houston firefighters, one who is a native of Port Allen, were honored last Wednesday as Houston’s "Firefighter of the Year."

The heroes are from Ladder 18: Cpt. Brad Hawthorne and Port Allen native, Engine operator Dewayne Wyble.


They were honored for their part in a rescue of a trapped construction worker on March 25, 2014, that received national attention after a video of the rescue went viral on YouTube.

"Thirty-one years, this is the highlight of a career. You never expect it, you go about doing your job every day," said Wyble.

"It's awesome, it's not something you expect -- awesome to be honored this way," said Hawthorne.

Wyble was down below steering the ladder. Through smoke and flames, Hawthorne was reaching for the construction worker. The amazing rescue was caught on camera.

"They deserve all the glory, I’m the guy running from the flames, and they're running into it to saves knuckleheads like me," said Curtis Reissig, the construction worker who was saved by the two firefighters.

Flames were bearing down on Reissig. He decided to drop the unfinished balcony below, until he was rescued.

"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here," said Reissig.

The death defying drop from the fifth-floor balcony went viral.

"Somebody says, ‘hey man, it's on YouTube, so one of the guys had a phone and we looked it up on YouTube and then you open your eyes and say, ‘Wow, it's closer than I thought," said Wyble.

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