BOSTON (CBS) — They put their lives in danger every day on the job and Monday, a special honor was given to members of the Boston Fire Department.

First responders of the Boston Marathon bombings were presented with a commendation pin on the Boston Common.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

District Fire Chief Dennis Keeley led units into the nightmare downtown on April 15.

“It was a very hard day. It’s taken us all a long time to be able to sleep and get a lot of the horror out of our heads,” Keeley said. “But we have the strength of the department and the strength of the city and we go back.”

On Monday, crews stood on the Boston Common sharing stories but four-and-a-half months ago on Boylston Street with the unblinking eyes of a terrifying reality starring the first responders in the face, they responded together as a unit, as a family.

“This family is enormous and caring,” Keeley said. “I saw men and women of this department do things and feel things I never thought in my life, in my 27 years on this job, I would see.”

For some, it’s still hard to talk about that day but being back on the job with their team is a comfort.

“I was at the site of the second bomb,” Steve Rodriguez says. “I was working on the Richardson children. It’s still hard today.”

But despite the mental toll, Rodriguez says there is a job to do.

“You make the call. We’re there, no matter what,” he says.

And that’s exactly why these firefighters are being recognized.

“The first responders that were there that day will be carrying that with you the rest of your lives what happened. It was a job well done. Thank you,” Fire Commissioner Roderick Fraser said as he pinned each of his responders with a commendation pin.

The pins have three stripes for the victims of the bombings and one for then-M.I.T. Officer Sean Collier.


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