D.C. Fire and EMS paramedics awarded for response during Navy Yard shooting

September 27, 2013

They won awards for their courage during the Navy Yard shooting.

But almost two weeks after the killing spree that left 12 dead, D.C. Fire and EMS paramedics said Friday they didn’t need an accolade — they were just doing their jobs.

“This is our city. We know a lot of people we service and feel what they feel,” said Shelia Henderson, a paramedic who spoke with victims and colleagues in an impromptu meeting area at Washington National Park after the Sept. 16 shooting. “You just listen, you let them express and talk about it.”

The Navy Yard shooting pierced through a routine Monday morning. The gunman, Aaron Alexis, a Navy reservist who had a history of mental illness, killed 12 people before he was fatally shot by officers.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, who along with DCFEMS Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe presented nearly 40 awards, said the shooting will be remembered forever in the history of the district. Gray said the ceremony was a way to “say thank you to the brave and courageous EMS folks who made September 16th undoubtedly a lot better.”

Victoria St. Martin covers breaking news and Prince William County for The Post's Local desk.
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