The Tinneny Family History Site

Joseph Rippert III

Fire fighter Joseph Rippert, the son of Joseph and Karen Tinneny Rippert of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was honored for valor in multiple venues in the Philadelphia area. The honors resulted from his heroic actions helping to rescue a man from a burning home while off-duty. At great risk to himself and without wearing protective gear, Joe repeatedly entered the burning home of a neighbor who was incapacitated by the fire to remove him from the building.



September 8, 2019, Joe was honored for his heroic actions by the Philadelphia Firefighters’ & Paramedics’ Union, Local 22 of International Association of Fire Fighters, which represents over a quarter of a million professional firefighters and paramedics in the United States and Canada. He was presented a plaque and trophy.

Photo: Joe receiving honors from fire fighters union official.



Joe with trophy for valor presented to him by Firefighters Local 22 and with his proud parents Joe and Karen Rippert.

He was also honored September 20, 2019 in ceremonies at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia where an account of his actions that night will be on display in an exhibit for the next year along with those of 14 other public servants.


Joe receiving the Individual Award For Valor at the National Liberty Museum.

The following broadcast message from KYW Radio in Philadelphia includes Joe’s first hand account of the incident for which he received the award.  

National Liberty Museum celebrates 15 public servants who go above and beyond 

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For the 14th year in a row, the National Liberty Museum honored more than a dozen police, firefighters, and responders from the Greater Philadelphia area that go beyond the normal job demands. 

Philadelphia Firefighter Joseph Rippert is one of the 15 honored with the Award of Valor for their bravery and compassion. Rippert is always ready, on or off duty. He and his wife were asleep in their home one night when they were woken up by the sound of windows breaking and screaming nearby. 

"I ran down the street," Rippert said. "I saw a young lady outside crying. I said, 'Is this your house?' She said yes. I said, 'Is there anybody inside?' She said, 'Yes. My boyfriend. He never made it out.'" 

That's when Rippert ran into the burning house — with no gear on besides the clothes on his back. 

"I tried to drag him out by crawling down the hallway," he said. "I couldnt get him. He was just dead weight, too heavy to move." 

The smoke was so heavy that he had to retreat and get fresh air. But he went back. 

"Now, I knew where he was. I knew what I had to do to get him out. I got my legs under me and pretty much just held my breath and drag him to the top of the steps." 

On-duty firefighters made it to the scene and took over, giving the victim CPR. He survived, thanks to Rippert's quick action.

Published in KYW Radio Release by Antonette Lee, September 20, 2019. 

Joseph is the grandson of Thomas and Marie Tinneny, great-grandson of James and Gertrude Tinneny and great-great-grandson of Patrick “Yankee Pat” Tinneny of Goladuff, Newtownbutler, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland; Greenock, Scotland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and his wife Margaret Malloy.

Photos courtesy of Laura Ann Rippert.

Updated September 13, 2021
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