FDNY Medal Day

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West Side Terror Attack First Responders Honored At FDNY Medal Day Ceremony

June 06, 2018 - 4:55 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – Some of New York City's bravest received high honors from the FDNY during a special ceremony Wednesday.

Lieutenant Adrianne Walsh and firefighter Richard Naviasky were among the six members of Company 18 recognized for their heroic actions during last year's terror attack on the West Side bike path.

“We’ve seen a lot of horrible things over the course of our careers, all of us, every one of us,” Naviasky told WCBS 880's Rich Lamb during the FDNY's Medal Ceremony on Wednesday. “I mean, 9/11 was obviously a thing unto itself; but for me, I would have to say this is probably the second worst.”

When leaving the station that fateful day, officers thought they were responding to a person pinned in a school bus accident at Chambers and West streets.

“[We> made the left on the West Side Highway, continued down and just past Houston Street we saw a bunch of folks’ bicycles were on the ground but they just seemed to be sitting there, so we thought nothing of it,” Walsh said.

However, when they reached Christopher Street, they were flagged down by an officer who told them, “I have multiple victims on the bike path.”

“We went down a little further and there was a plainclothes cop who was frantically waving at us to stop," Walsh said.

The firefighters listened to the officer and headed towards the bike path, where they found a mass casualty incident.

"Once I got over there, there were just bodies strewn everywhere," Walsh said.

They sprang into action, tending to a massive number of injured individuals – many more than they were equipped for.

“There was a grouping of a couple of obvious fatalities and then as well as a couple of severely injured people so we kind of went to the care of them as we looked around to see basically that there was way more patients than we had manpower to handle,” Naviasky said.

Reflecting on the tragic day, the firefighters described themselves as happy, proud and humbled to be honored for their quick actions last Halloween.