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Michael Rhatigan: A Story in Resilience, Bravery, and Great Achievements

Just few men have come close to the sheer display of bravery, resilience, and dedication of Michael P. Rhatigan. In the course of many years, this brave man has defied heat and fire to save lives, often at the risk of his own life.


One fateful day in 2007, Michael Rhatigan raced to a building located at Brooklyn Box 75-3283, East 26th Street, between Avenue Z and Voorhees Avenue, along with other FDNY members to put out a ranging inferno. But, it was not just about the fire, but about his bravery and dedication to duty that tells so much about him.


Michael P. Rhatigan, an Associate degree holder in business administration, joined FDNY on October 28, 2001.  He has since then participated in numerous life-saving acts in the course of duty and for which he was dully recognized. He was proudly honored with the Battalion Chief Frank T.  Tuttlemondo Medal.—DJH, by FDNY. But, why did he deserve such honor. Two events will sum it up.


While responding to that distress call along with FF Charles Puza, and as other units who gained entrance into the building second floor with the help of a portable ladder battled the fire, Rhatigan made straight to the entrance of the building. Not even the intense heat and dense smoke could distract him. And working in zero visibility, he started to search toward the rear of the building. Not seeing anything or anyone who could be in danger, he searched back to the front. Then he came to the stairs and saw an open door. He wanted to make sure there was nobody in there.  The door led to another door and as he moved in, he saw a bedroom and entered. There was a male victim lying unconsciously on the bed caused by the fire.


Having transmitted a10-45 and called out to FF Puza for assistance, he moved the victim to safety and started resuscitation process with the help of voluntary EMT. Their combine efforts were able to save the life of the man before he was removed to a hospital.


In another incident, Michael Rhatigan busted an attempted robbery on an ice cream truck. The Mister Softee truck was moving on Long Island. He had spotted a man attempting to rob the truck from his car and he jumped out to engage in a scuffle with the man who turned out to be Robert Martone. His effort ensured that the man was caught and handed to the police. He was honored with Vanilla handshake after this brave act.


These two acts sum up the bravery, resilience, and dedication of Michael P. Rhatigan that only few people can match!

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