Firefighter receives medal for bridge-tunnel rescue

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Thursday night, the Newport News Fire Department honored first responders who participated in the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel crash last year.

The crash involved a tractor-trailer that careened off the bridge, leaving the cab dangling off the side. A special award was given to Master Firefighter Specialist Scott Dye, who rappelled off the MMMBT to rescue the trapped truck driver.

Dye said in his 20 years of service he’s seen his fair share of wrecks, but nothing like the wreck on the bridge-tunnel on April 8, 2013.

“It was really a wow factor for most everybody there,” Dye said.MMMBT rescue

Dye is calm and cool when he remembers the role he played that day: “It’s kind of like you look forward to making a rescue or doing something like that. I don’t feel I did anything more special than any of the other guys would have done.”

Dye rappelled 15 to 20 feet off the bridge tunnel to save the female driver trapped in the truck’s cab.

“We were in a little tiny bucket,” Dye said. “We didn’t have a lot of room to do much, but like anything we adapted, overcame and we affected the rescue.”

Dye was honored for his bravery and coolness under pressure.He received the Medal of Valor, the highest fire chief award given, but he won’t take you calling him a hero.

“I don’t really feel like what I did was heroic in any way shape or form,” he said. “It’s what I do. It’s what anybody here, especially anyone on the tech team, would have done.”

Dye gives more credit to the first responders who kept the big rig from falling over the MMMBT that day.

“We were a little part of the puzzle,” he said. “Everybody on top of the bridge, they were steadily trying to secure that truck and hold it back. They did a really great job at that.”

Other firefighters and responders who participated in the rescue were given unit citations awards for their efforts.

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