Kris Simpson, a Life Coach and CEO of Bodies By Design, received the Hero Award for his act of heroism when he crawled into a smoke-filled, burning home, saving a young woman’s life. He was awarded the Vaughan Fire Chief’s Commendation presented by Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and Vaughan fire Chief Larry Bentley.
Kris, today we honor you with this act of bravery. On behalf of the city of Vaughan and the office of the fire chief, I want to thank you for saving Rebecca’s life. You are truly a hero and I’d also like to thank Amanda for encouraging Kris to be so brave. Also, at this time I’d like to acknowledge my firefighters and chief officers who attended the alarm that day. They are all here with us today and it’s an honor to be their fire chief. It was an extremely dangerous fire requiring a coordinated response and action from our on-duty members and I thank them dearly.
Vaughan Fire Chief – Larry Bentley
Transcript from Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua
Mr. Simpson, I would like to start by expressing my sincerest gratitude for your selfless actions. I know that professionally, you also dedicate yourself improving people’s lives and for that, as mayor of the city, I’d like to express my warmest and sincerest gratitude. I know the important role that you play in making sure that residents of this great city of ours are healthy and they live fulfilling and promising lives.
On the morning of March 19th, the house next door to Mr. Simpson caught fire, learning that one person was trapped inside, he ran into the burning house without concern for his own safety or his own health.
Mr. Simpson’s arm was in a sling at the time, having gone through surgery on his shoulder a week earlier. Inside the house he heard yelling from the second level and made his way upstairs crawling on the floor so he could breathe under the thick smoke filling the house. Although he could not see the woman, Mr. Simpson was able to call out to her and direct her to the stairs. When she got close enough, he grabbed her and led her down the stairs and to safety outside.
Mr. Simpson, that morning, you showed exemplary bravery and compassion for your neighbor. Your actions, I know and I think I speak on behalf of the entire community, numerous in attendance, as you can tell today. I say that those acts are acts that define who you are as an individual and for that I can tell you on behalf of council, on behalf of the over 330,000 people who speak 105 different languages in this diverse city of ours, I want to express my warmest and sincerest gratitude.
You could have chosen not to go in, but you didn’t and in those moments, where quick decisions have to be made, where your life is threatened, but you’re willing to act in a selfless way to save another human being, those are moments, that we, as a community, treasure.
There are many challenges that we face in life, but we’re always looking for leaders and we’re always looking for people who in that defining moment, can capture the essence of what’s truly important. And what is truly important is to make the right decision, to be very discerning and you demonstrated that and we are forever indebted to your act of selflessness.
On behalf of myself and council, we are proud of your actions and the exceptional example you have set for the entire community. These are stories that need to be told. These are stories that need to be repeated. These are stories that embody the very essence of what we need to improve the human condition. These are stories that inspire us to reach greater heights. These are stories that embrace that which is truly important in life and that is to be there for each other and you demonstrated that, that day.
This is yet another example of the incredible citizens that we have, the outstanding citizens that we have here in the city of Vaughan and I want to offer my sincere congratulations to Kris Simpson for this well-deserved recognition. I would also like to acknowledge the three fire crews that attended the call.
– Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua