Lincoln Sailors Save Woman
ABH2 Devon Bishop and ABH3 Jessica Jusino Recognized by Mayor
Driving back to work after lunch that Wednesday afternoon was anything but ordinary once Jusino and Bishop saw a plume of smoke rising above the tree tops a few blocks away.
"We pulled up, rolled down the window and asked the crowd if everything was okay," Bishop said.
"They said no, and that a lady was inside."
Fresh from completing general shipboard firefighting training at Naval Station Norfolk's Firefighting Training School three weeks earlier, Bishop and Jusino immediately jumped out of the vehicle, split paths down the sides of the house, looking for an entry point that was not engulfed in smoke or flames.
"He went to the right, and I went to the left, knocking everywhere to see if someone would respond," Jusino said. "When I heard her scream, I yelled to Bishop and told him to kick in the wooden door that led to the kitchen."
After helping the resident to the safety of a neighbor through the back of the house, Bishop and Jusino returned to work, as if it were just another day.
The two attribute their actions to shipboard firefighting school.
"Shipboard firefighting school was very effective and gave me more insight on proper firefighting techniques," Bishop said. "I would absolutely recommend this training for others."
"While at the training, I definitely didn't think it would be put to use so soon," Jusino said. "I was absorbing the training in preparation for deployment, not realizing that the training could be used even here at home."
Their actions may have seemed like second nature to them because of their training, but to the city of Newport News, they were nothing short of heroic.
In front of an audience that included Newport News city officials, the commanding officer of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), and some of the crew, both Sailors were presented with proclamation certificates by Newport News Mayor McKinsley L. Price for their selfless actions.
Capt. Ronald Ravelo, Lincoln's commanding officer, who recently took command, was beaming with appreciation.
"I have been in command of Abraham Lincoln now for five days and to have my first external duty being to come to city hall and have the mayor of Newport News, our host city, recognize two of our Sailors, gives me a tremendous amount of pride."
Ravelo went on to say that firefighting is the primary role of Sailors.
"I like to tell the crew that there is one thing that is common amongst all Sailors, and that is every Sailor is a firefighter. These two shipmates exemplified that on July 1," Ravelo said. "On a ship, we are trained to run to the fire because there is no calling 911 when we are out on the high seas."
Newport News Fire Chief, Robert Alley expressed a similar feeling and camaraderie with the Sailors.
"As a fire chief it makes me very proud because we have a lot in common," Alley said. "We have to be able to handle every hazard that comes our way, whether it be in a building or out at sea. We have to have an all hands effort at all times, and that's why we work so well together."
Jusino and Bishop wouldn't call themselves heroes at all; they believe that they were in the right place at the right time.
"I think that any person would have done the same thing we did," Bishop said. "It was basically doing the right thing and helping a person in need."
"Everyone has been very proud and happy for everything that we have done," Jusino said. "It has all been a complete shock; we never expected any of this to happen."