Firefighters are Never Off-Duty

Four West Pierce Fire & Rescue personnel were recognized and received accolades by Chief Jim Sharp at tonight’s Board of Fire Commissioners meeting for their heroic actions, all while off-duty.

Captain Mark Tinsley, Firefighter Troy Heidal, Firefighter Jonathan Tinsley, Captain Garret Smith and Chief Jim Sharp

First, Captain Garret Smith received a merit award for his assistance to a Tacoma police officer who was struggling with a man. Captain Smith recognized this as he was driving by, stopped and assisted the office and another off-duty police officer to restrain the man.

Captain Garret Smith and Chief Jim Sharp

Another merit award was given to Firefighter Troy Heidal who was attending Firefighter/Paramedic Rob Mayzak’s (also an employee with WPFR) daughters’ birthday party. During the party, one of Mayzak’s family members suddenly fell to the ground from her chair. Mayzak and Heidal quickly recognized the woman was in cardiac arrest and jumped into action until Gig Harbor Fire & Medic One arrived and transported her. At the meeting, Mayzak stood in front of the board and described the day’s events to the crowd and thanked Heidal for his help.

Firefighter/Paramedic Rob Mayzak, Firefighter Troy Heidal and Chief Jim Sharp

Finally, Captain Mark Tinsley and Firefighter Jonathan Tinsley were recognized for their actions while out with their families one afternoon in Thurston County. The Tinsleys were sitting in a parking lot near a gas station when they noticed a man acting strangely walking nearby. The man then approached a woman who was pumping gas, punched her in the face and knocked her to the ground. The woman’s husband ran to help her, where the man punched him in the face, also knocking him down. At this point, Jonathan ran to the gas station and tackled the man, where he kept him subdued until police arrived. Police asked Jonathan to keep the man down until additional officers were able to assist. Mark called 9-1-1 as the situation unfolded and kept Jonathan’s children safe, who were with them at the time of the incident. Tonight, Jonathan received his third Valor award and Mark received a letter of commendation for their heroic actions.

Captain Mark Tinsley, Firefighter Jonathan Tinsley and Chief Jim Sharp

Chief Sharp echoed his thanks to all who received awards tonight for not only stepping in and assisting those in their time of need, but also for making WPFR proud.



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