Detroit firefighter to be honored at Above and Beyond award ceremony over heroic housefire save

Ceremony to be held Thursday at Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center

DETROIT – Detroit firefighter will be honored Thursday night at the Above and Beyond ceremony over his heroic housefire save from January.

At the end of each year, the Detroit Public Safety Foundation host the 10th annual Above and Beyond award ceremony to honor our first responders with Detroit police, fire and EMS.

Desmond Orr is still fairly new to the Detroit Fire Department with eight years under his belt - but at the age of 28, his jacket is starting to become heavy with all of these metals

“He’s the epitome of what Detroit fire is about. We’re about saving lives. We’re selfless.” said Detroit Cheif James Harris

Harris told Local 4 that Orr is a hero every day but deserves to be honored for his heroic efforts at a fire he responded to last January - running upstairs in a house that was bursting in flames - knowing somebody inside needed to be saved.

“He was there on the bed unconscious, pick him up and start dragging him outside and a firefighter came and assisted me, bringing him downstairs,” said Orr. “After that. Because my EMT skills and medical skills started popping in so I started giving him some oxygen and start wrapping up his wounds.”

For saving a life, Orr will receive the medal of valor. He will also receive a purple heart award for responding to a fire early last year in which the building collapsed while he was inside.

“I had a couple of injuries, and it’s about seven other guys. We all went to the hospital, couple of injuries, but everyone made it out alive and I take that as being okay,” said Orr. “It always feels good being honored and I’m very thankful that they are honoring me. At the end of the day, I’m just doing my job. I’m just happy that the man that we did save survived. At the end of the day, that’s the reward.”

Harris said that’s the type of people who come to work for the Detroit fire department. Many more of these selfless firefighters will also be honored In the annual Above and Beyond ceremony.

The award ceremony takes place Thursday night at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. Fallen officer Loren Courts will also be honored at the ceremony receiving a posthumous purple heart award. His family will be there to accept the award on his behalf.

About the Authors:

You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.