other previous winners


New Millennium

-- 2000 Certified

Acts of heroism continue in the 21st Century with Andrew Miller performing a life-saving rescue at 40,000 feet!

September 7, 2000

You donít have to convince firefighter Andrew Miller of the value of his medical services training updates, or of the fact that firefighters are often faced with emergency situations that do not involve fires.

On board a Korean Airlines flight bound for Seoul, South Korea, Andrew, who is a firefighter with the Regional Fire and Rescue Department out of Casa Grande, was on his way to attend U.S. Navy Reserve active duty training. Approximately 2 hours into a 14-hour trip, and 40,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, Andrew heard a commotion a few rows ahead. 2000 Mini poster.jpg (6296 bytes)

A five-year-old Korean boy was experiencing violent seizures. With no physician or nurse on board, Andrew offered assistance. Trained in emergency medical procedures, Firefighter Miller assessed the situation, applied his knowledge, and then advised the pilot to find the nearest airport with emergency medical facilities.

In the three hours it took to return to San Francisco airport, Miller bent over the little boy in the tight quarters of the galley of the plane, administering oxygen and techniques to keep the unconscious child breathing.

Even upon landing, when the flight attendants insisted that Andrew take a seat and buckle up, he stayed on the floor continuing the intervention needed for the childís airway. Once on the ground, firefighter Miller provided a professional transfer of care to the San Francisco Fire Departmentís Paramedic Unit.

Andrew Miller exemplifies the highest expectations, traditions, abilities, and compassion of the Arizona Fire Service in performing a miraculous task of saving this little boy during this 3-hour ordeal. Committed to the service of his country and his community, he was honored with the U.S. Navyís Achievement Medal for Recognition of Effort in providing the critical care necessary to sustain the life of this 5-year-old boy. And we are very proud to present him with the  Symbol of Excellence Award as the SEVENTH ANNUAL United Fire Firefighter of the Year.