Donald P. Hyde.
Ft. Wainwright Fire Department
Died: April 27, 1971
Firefighter Specialist Four, Donald P. Hyde, distinguished himself by an exceptionally valorous act on April 27, 1971 at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
Firefighter Specialist Hyde was in an off duty status in the Post Fire Station at Fort Wainwright when a call came in. Hyde voluntarily responded to the emergency along with the on-duty firefighters.
When he arrived at the scene he was confronted by neighbors of the fire victims and screams of “Save My Baby”, by the mother of a child that was trapped inside the burning apartment.
Immediately, Firefighter Hyde donned his protective breathing apparatus, without waiting for a hose line, dashed through the back door of the dense, smoke filled and extremely hot apartment to attempt to rescue the child.
Firefighter Hyde proceeded upstairs and was able to search the two bedrooms before the intense hear and smoke almost overpowered him. Seeking to escape, he returned to the first floor apartment. By this time his breathing apparatus had apparently malfunctioned due to the extreme heat. Firefighter Hyde was caught in an unexpected backflash and his protective clothing was ignited. He directed firefighters working at a window to his location in the inferno to spray water on him and was able to get through a broken window where he was assisted to safety.
Firefighter Specialist Hyde was taken to Basset Army Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries in a few hours.
Firefighter Specialist Hyde demonstrated heroism far beyond the call of duty with the utmost courage and bravery in his attempt to save another’s life without regard to his own.