Seven Honored On Lifesaver's Recognition Day

David Creed •

  • IMG 5242 1920w
  • IMG 5221 1920w
  • IMG 5233 1920w
  • IMG 3978 1920w
  • IMG 3976 1920w
  • IMG 5237 1920w
  • IMG 5209 1920w
  • IMG 5190 1920w
  • IMG 5194 1920w
  • IMG 5219 1920w
  • IMG 5187 1920w
  • IMG 5200 1920w
  • IMG 5202 1920w

Photography by David Creed

The Egan Maritime Institute and Nantucket Cottage Hospital honored seven people on Sunday during the 2022 Lifesavers Recognition Day. The Maurice E. Gibbs Commendation Award was presented to Nantucket Fire Captain Nate Barber along with civilians Peter Georgantas and Venessa Smith for their actions during the Veranda House fire on July 9th. The other four recipients were Massachusetts State Police Trooper Robert Clouse, Jennifer Decker, Sydney MacKeigan and Nantucket Police Department Officer Joseph Tirone for their efforts in saving the life of Steven Arst, who collapsed while bicycling on the Milestone bike path on June 30th. MacKeigan's parents received the award in her place because she is back at school.

Arst made an appearance at the ceremony and gave brief remarks, thanking each of them for their efforts that day that saved his life.

“Thank you all for not giving up on me. You accomplished a miracle,” Arst said. “First responders were on the way so quickly. That was critically important. Jenn started CPR immediately. This made all the difference in my recovery. I constantly think of what you did for me.”

You can see more of the speech below. To read the full story on these heroic efforts, click here.

Barber was off-duty the morning of July 9 getting coffee on Broad Street when he saw the smoke billowing from the Veranda House. Barber sprinted to the scene to find the building fully engulfed in flames.

When a hotel guest told Barber his son was still inside, Barber entered the building to search for him. After being turned back by the smoke, he found another way in by jumping up onto a roof, and then a table, and entered through an open window.

“I got into the hallway, it was pitch black smoke, and there was a couple there yelling for help,” Barber told the Current from his hospital bed in July, where he was recovering and being monitored for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion. “I grabbed them, took them out the window to another side of the building and onto a roof. Miraculously there was a guy there with a ladder, I think it was a neighbor, and we took the people down the ladder.”

You can read the full story on Barber here.

Georgantas was on his morning run when he became aware of the fire. He, along with Barber, ran into the hotel yelling and breaking down doors to make sure no one was stuck in the building.

Smith was delivering copies of The Boston Globe, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal that morning when she saw the flames and promptly called 911. She then began to scream at guests to get out of the building.

“I called 911 and ran inside the yard of the Veranda House and started screaming ‘fire! Everyone please get out’!” Smith recalled. “I was running up and down the street screaming ‘get out! Get out’!”

You can read the full story here.

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current People