Bronze Medal of Valor Honors Oregon Member's Fire Response
First Lt. Joseph L. Boyd Jr. has been recognized with Civil Air Patrol’s Bronze Medal of Valor for his actions June 22, 2020, when he discovered the fourplex he was living in was on fire.
Boyd, also a member of the U.S. Air Force, received the medal Nov. 14 in Aurora, Oregon, from Col. Virginia Nelson, Pacific Region commander.
“Civil Air Patrol gives the Bronze Medal of Valor only once every year or two,” Nelson said. “It goes through a lengthy review and approval process.”
Boyd was living in Prescott, Arizona, when he saw flames outside his kitchen window. He sprang into action, notifying 911 and pounding on his neighbors’ doors to help them escape.
He ran down the hall to the apartment that was on fire and got the occupant to safety. He ran downstairs to get some air, then returned upstairs to keep pounding on doors and getting residents to safety.
Boyd’s reactions were so spur-of-the-moment that he was barefoot and wearing only basketball shorts. His only other personal item was his cellphone.
The fire occurred after a resident was apparently frying something and fell asleep. The grease fire caused enough damage to require replacement of the building’s roof and back wall of the building. Boyd’s apartment was cleaned and rebuilt after being saturated with smoke.
The Prescott Fire Department recognized his efforts with a Certificate of Appreciation presented Oct. 9, 2020 and praising his “selfless actions (that) most certainly were life-saving for one or more of the apartment complex occupants … (and) were of great aid to the professional firefighters.”
At the time Boyd was attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical College in Prescott, where he retained his Oregon Wing membership and participated in U.S. Air Force ROTC. Today he’s an Air Force first lieutenant stationed at Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.
He’s also information director for the Oregon Wing — a job he can perform do remotely from Texas.
At the presentation ceremony, Boyd answered questions by Aurora Composite Squadron cadets in attendance.
“I knew how to act because of the training of Civil Air Patrol and ROTC,” he said. “I learned how to act under pressure.”
Boyd was a CAP cadet for eight years after joining in February 2011. He achieved the rank of cadet captain. He joined as an adult member when he turned 21.
Also present for the award ceremony were his parents, Lt. Col. Joseph Boyd — Oregon Wing communications officer, supply officer, and logistics director and the Aurora squadron’s deputy commander for cadets — and adult member Lillian Ann Boyd of the Aurora squadron.
Lt. Col. Scott Maguire
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