Former USAG Mannheim fireman honored
October 30, 2008
MANNHEIM, Germany - Thomas Tiedemann, a former firefighter for the U.S. Army Garrison Mannheim Fire Department, received a U.S. Army Europe Certificate of Achievement here Oct. 24 for saving the life of an elderly woman last year.
In December 2007, Tiedemann and members of the Ilvesheim Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call from the woman's concerned neighbors as they believed she was in trouble.
Unexpectedly, the crew found an apartment filled with smoke from a smoldering fire, apparently caused by candles placed on a holiday decoration. Despite being surprised by the dangerous situation, Tiedemann was noted for performing flawlessly, providing immediate life-resuscitating measures that saved the woman's life.
"Firefighters act with precision and place their lives at risk on a daily basis," said Gerald Adams, Installation Management Command-Europe fire protection specialist. "We are proud of our firefighters for their dedication and selfless support ensuring mission execution beyond the normal. Mr. Tiedemann is a stalwart example for this spirit."
For his actions, Tiedemann was nominated for the Department of Defense Firefighter Heroism Award as part of the annual 2007 DoD Fire and Emergency Services Awards - and was selected as a runner-up.
"I didn't expect to be awarded, but I feel very happy about it," said a humble Tiedemann at the ceremony honoring him. "I know what it means to receive such an award; I really appreciate it."
Tiedemann, formerly of USAG Mannheim Directorate of Emergency Services, is now a municipal employee for his hometown of Ilvesheim, where he works as chief of the volunteer firefighters and as a locksmith.
But he still remembers his time at the garrison. In fact, he asked that the award presentation be held with his former colleagues of the USAG Mannheim Fire Department - whom he still feels very much connected to.
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Fletcher, commander of USAG Mannheim, complimented every fire department member present, especially Tiedemann for his "fantastic job."
"You are always going to be a part of this team," Fletcher said.