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San Diego Miramar College
July 18, 2014 began as any ordinary day for Miramar College Fire Technology students Phillip Mainini and Brendon Simmons. The two had just completed rappelling exercises and were headed home when Mainini spotted a man in the parking lot of the Point Loma Home Depot threatening to douse himself with gasoline and then set fire. Mainini attempted to talk the man out of his attempted suicide, but the man quickly lit fire to himself. Mainini quickly took a blanket from a nearby onlooker and smothered the man’s face in an attempt to keep his airway open. His classmate Brendon Simmons saw the commotion from his passing car and stopped to assist. Simmons quickly used a bunker jacket to smother the flames. He then cut off the man’s clothes and extinguished the fire. The two continued to keep the man’s airway open until paramedics arrived. The suicidal man was taken to the Burn Institute for treatment and survived transport thanks to the bravery shown by Mainini and Simmons. On May 14 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, Mainini and Simmons were honored for their heroic actions. The two were awarded a Spirit of Courage Award by the Burn Institute. "It was an amazing honor to receive this award and be recognized by our peers and community,” said Mainini. “I think we both understand that we were just at the right place at the right time. While nothing could prepare us for seeing another person go through what the victim did, it just so happened we were lucky enough to have had training that helped us deal with this type of situation." Both Simmons and Mainini are currently volunteer firefighters for the San Diego County Fire Authority as they continue to work toward degrees.

San Diego Miramar College

10440 Black Mountain Road

San Diego, CA 92126-2999


San Diego Community College District

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San Diego Miramar College

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