Minnesota Firefighter Named All-Star Finalist
Back Draft Explosion Didn't Stop This Minneapolis Firefighter from Returning to Duty
A firefighter determined to follow in his father's footsteps has been chosen as a finalist in the 2011 America's Most Wanted All-Star Contest, sponsored by Sprint.
Firefighter Jacob LaFerriere of the Minneapolis, Minnesota Fire Department is the sixth weekly finalist chosen by the public through online voting in the contest, which honors the work of first responders.
Firefighter LaFerriere, a second generation firefighter, began his career in 2001 at Station 8 - the same station his where his father worked. Three years ago he joined Station 11 and became a member of the Hazmat Team and specifically the entry team who respond to special calls for acid spills, gas leaks and meth labs. Last July, his ten years of training really came into play when his unit responded to a house fire.
As the team searched for victims and the source of the fire, there was a sudden explosion which threw Jacob across the room. Blinded by the smoke, Jacob could only see a beam of light coming through the window. Miraculously and navigating through the burning and fiery hot room - Jacob reached the window but was unable to wait for the ladder that would help save him. Saving his life, he jumped from the third floor window and landed on the roof of the first floor porch. Suffering a broken ankle, torn ligaments in his knee, and third and fourth degree burns on his hands, he climbed down the ladder and walked to the ambulance for treatment. Now, after months of painful treatments and physical therapy, Firefighter LaFerriere has returned to light duty at the Minneapolis Fire Station 11.
A true survivor, this experience inspired Jacob to talk to other burn victims and encourage them through their recovery. Several injured children have also attended a burn camp, due to Jacob's kindness.
Jacob LaFerriere is the sixth of eight weekly finalists to be chosen by the public in this year's AMW All-Star Contest. Any member of the public can nominate and vote for their favorite first-responder online. The nomination process is simple: Go to AMW.com to fill out a short form naming your top choice and explain what makes this person an All-Star.
Each weekly finalist will be profiled on America's Most Wanted (Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on FOX). Through online votes, the public will choose the grand-prize winner. In May, AMW Host John Walsh will present the 2011 AMW All-Star winner with a check for $10,000 at a ceremony in Washington DC and the winner will receive a trip to the NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series All-Star Challenge at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Nominations are open at AMW.com until noon (ET) on April 2, 2011. Members of the public may vote for their favorite first responder once a day, every day. Finalist voting runs through midnight April 10th. Grand-prize winner voting will run April 21st through May 8th.
Please visit AMW.com/allstar for more information.