PORTERVILLE, Calif — The Two Firefighters that died fighting a library fire in February of last year were awarded a Purple Heart in honor of their sacrifice.
According to the California State Firefighters Association the Purple Heart is awarded to individuals that suffer severe physical injury that results in hospitalization or death while performing services as a member of the California fire service.
The announcement was made during a tribute video released by the Porterville Fire Deparment.
Fire Captain Raymond Figueroa and firefighter Patrick Jones died after going back into the library while it was on fire to save a person inside.
"we sadly lost two great men who loved their profession and emobided what it meant to be a leader and have a servant's heart," said Eddie Sell, the President of the California Firefighter association.
Figeuroa grew up in Delano and was living in Bakersfield while working with the Porterville Fire Department at the time.
Thursday began a new tradition at the department. On February 18th firefighters are able to wear their hats backwards like Jones did. They'll also clean and sharpen their axes in Remembrance of Figueroa.