He rushed into the smoke to rescue a driver, now he’s being honored

Local firefighter earns the Medal of Valor for his efforts in a car fire

It’s not everyday you pull someone out of a burning car, even if you’re a firefighter.

That act of valor is what led the Renton Regional Fire Authority to honor one lieutenant with the Medal of Valor. Lt. Marcus Rismiller and his crew on Engine 13 received the accolade at the Governance Board Meeting, Monday, June 10.

Deputy Fire Chief Roy Gonsolus said Rismiller’s outstanding performance was submitted to the Recognition Committee for review. For a Medal of Valor, the recommendation then needs to go through the fire chief.

Gonsolus said the Medal of Valor is a rare award to receive, and a high honor.

Rismiller received the medal due to his actions in saving a woman from a burning car on March 6.

When Rismiller and his crew arrived on the scene, somebody said there was a person still inside the flaming car.

As his crew quickly began to spray water on the fire, Rismiller moved into the smoke-filled vehicle and found the driver sitting there with her hands on the wheels. He was wearing his full equipment and had no injuries from the rescue.

She had likely been in the smoking car for about six minutes.

He pulled her out to safety, walked over and stayed with her at the sidewalk trying to keep her from going back to her car.

Then they had the fire knocked out in a few minutes.

He said in that moment, you are thinking about who is in immediate danger, after that, the next priority is solving whatever the problem is at the incident.

He found out he was receiving the Medal of Valor in May.

Rismiller said he was surprised as he didn’t think he did something spectacular enough to deserve something like that.

“It’s almost like you’re getting a medal for what you’re trained to do,” Rismiller said. “But knowing they were impressed by how you did it makes you feel good that all the training paid off.”

Gonsolus said that’s often what firefighters say, but his actions are the reason that woman is still alive today.

Rismiller has been with the Renton Regional Fire Authority for 13 years. Before that, he was a volunteer firefighter at Eastside Fire and Rescue.

As a lieutenant, he’s in charge of everyone at the station during his shift. Rismiller said he keeps track of daily activities and training.

He said they do drills on a variety of things, so each person knows exactly what their objectives are. One person on the crew during the incident had only been on the job for two months, and was prepared.

“It’s kind of like a sport, you work on the basic things, and get really good at those. Then when the situation is different, you’re able to adapt your training to that situation,” Rismiller said.

He doesn’t need to say more than a few words on scene for the crew to know what they need to do, he said.

His crew was well-trained, quickly got to the scene and handled everything quickly and efficiently. That pulled together to help Rismiller receive the medal, Gonsolus said.

“I’m proud of the fact he and his crew were prepared to handle the emergency situation. It’s what we’re here to do, while not all are life and death, when it happens we are prepared,” Gonsolus said.

At the meeting where Rismiller received the reward was his crew, his wife, and several families for five firefighters that were also promoted that day: Lt. Ilya Moncharnyy, Lt. Dylan Guyl, Lead Deputy Fire Marshal Eric Donnerstag and Captain Ryan Morgan.

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority. Lt. Marcus Rismiller with his wife, Brelin Rismiller.

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority. Lt. Marcus Rismiller with his wife, Brelin Rismiller.

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority. Lt. Marcus Rismiller with his wife, Brelin Rismiller.

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority

Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority

More in News

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Democratic lawmakers roll out spending plans for climate change, homelessness

Republican opposition calls for tax relief, rather than spending the increased revenue.

Photo courtesy of Rylee Russell Mark’s family. He was shot last Sunday, Feb. 16 at a transient camp in Renton. Police are still trying to track down the suspect identified as Kelsey M. Gornowich, who also goes by Loki.
Family mourns son who lived a life on the streets

Rylee Russell Marks was identified as the victim of a shooting at a Renton encampment

Puget Sound Fire District rescuers work to remove a tree that pinned a man in an apartment complex in unincorporated Maple Valley on Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020. 
                                Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Fire.
Man pinned under a tree after it falls into an apartment

Fourteen emergency services respond outside of Maple Valley

PNW plant-based foods could help in climate fight

Animal products create a lot of emissions, but veggie alternatives are coming from King County.

The Colstrip Power Plant in Montana. Puget Sound Energy owns 25 percent of the remaining two units. File photo
PSE files to sell part of Colstrip coal plant

The utility owns two units at the Montana power plant.

Fentanyl (Courtesy photo)
Fentanyl overdoses keep increasing in King County

Meth overdoses are on the rise as well, continuing a trend reported on last year.

Charter review could overhaul King County Sheriff’s Office

Several changes to the King County Sheriff’s Office were proposed.

Crime web teaser. Renton Reporter
He called 911 then was arrested for homicide

Suspect with history of assault denies his alleged role in the incident

The language of the original bill prohibited privately-owned detainment facilities from being contracted by local, state, or federal government entities, but a last-second amendment was adopted to substantially narrow the focus of the legislation. File photo
Lawmakers flinch on banning for-profit detention facilities

Last minute amendment exempted ICE detainment facility.

Most Read