In this award-winning photo, St. Johns firefighter Lieut. Don Jarvis (centre) checks for a pulse on a middle-aged male fire victim rescued from 80A Old Topsail Road Feb. 20, 2008. Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
Telegram photojournalist Joe Gibbons has been acknowledged by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for a photograph entitled "Dramatic Rescue Effort."
The photograph, showing firefighters assisting a man who had been pulled from a house fire on Old Topsail Road, appeared in The Telegram Feb. 20, 2008.
Although he was listed in "serious condition" following the incident, the man survived, Gibbons said, making the image one of a - thankfully - successful as well as dramatic rescue effort by St. John's firefighters.
The International Association of Fire Fighter awards has given Gibbons an honourable mention for the photo in the News Photo category for publications with a circulation less than 100,000.
The photo did not win the category, but stands with only a few selected entries to be acknowledged from the 244 submitted by news media outlets throughout North America.
Gibbons has previously been acknowledged for the rescue photo with a silver award for excellence in spot news photojournalism at the 2008 Atlantic Journalism Awards (held May 2, 2009).
"To win this award is a great accolade and a big thank-you goes to the great St. John's Regional Fire Department firefighters, who always allow me up-front access," Gibbons said of the IAFF award.
Gibbons has come to know the work of the city's firefighters during his time as a photojournalist. He recalled his thoughts while taking this picture.
"The (firefighter) next to (the rescued man) - he nearly lost his life in a fire nearly 20 years before. He was caught in a backdraft in a fire on Bannerman Street. But the other firefighters saved his life and here, he turned around and saved someone else's nearly 20 years later."
At the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1075 in St. John's, Capt. Chuck Nurse said he was "proud" to hear of the acknowledgment for Gibbons' work.
"It just shows we have equally as good photographers working for the media here as they do across Canada and the United States," said Nurse. "When the award arrives, we - as a local - will be honouring Joe with a presentation at our annual dinner and dance in late November."
Gibbons' photo can be viewed, beside other honoured work in the category, at the International Association of Fire Fighters website (www.iaff.org).