Firefighters of the Year
By Administrator
August 9, 2021

The Lindenhurst Fire Department is proud to announce our members Lieutenant John Tighe Jr & Firefighter Mark Miller were presented with the 2021 FASNY Firefighter of the Year Award.

On October 19, 2020, a vehicle was traveling eastbound on Montauk Highway with two people inside when their car was struck by another vehicle, sending them into a canal. The Copiague Fire Department was alerted and the Lindenhurst Fire Department was activated for mutual aid.

Second Lieutenant John Tighe was at his residence when he heard the crash and immediately rushed toward it. Firefighter Mark Miller was driving on Montauk Highway when he saw the car in the canal and immediately pulled over to help. The man driving was removed by bystanders as both Tighe and Miller arrived. They jumped into the water as the car sank with the second victim, an elderly woman, still inside the vehicle.

With the car now submerged in eight to 10 feet of water, Tighe, Miller, a Suffolk County police officer and a civilian tried several times to break the car windows to reach the trapped victim. Miller attempted to break the windshield with a hammer, but it dropped into the water. He swam back to shore and was handed a cinder block. This time attempted to break the rear window, but the cinder block fell into the water. Miller then swam back to shore for a second cinder block and returned to the vehicle. This time, he was successful in breaking the rear window.

At this point, Miller tried to enter, but there was an obstruction blocking the window. He then attempted to get in through the driver’s side window while Tighe continued to work on the rear window. After several attempts, Tighe was able to remove the obstruction from the rear window. He then made entry and successfully removed the victim from inside.

Once removed, they used the police officer’s ring buoy to bring the victim to shore, where Firefighter John Tighe, Sr. and other bystanders were waiting with a rope. They wrapped the rope around her arms and hoisted her out of the water.

While on shore, an off-duty Lake Success police officer found the victim had no pulse and began CPR. After several minutes of CPR, she regained a pulse with shallow breathing. The Copiague Fire Department transported her to Good Samaritan Hospital, where she recovered from her injuries. The man was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital by The Lindenhurst Fire Department and recovered.

Hyperlinks: FASNY