STAMFORD, CT – Today President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. awarded the Medal of Valor to Stamford Firefighters John Colandro, Michael Rosero, and Chad Titus of the Stamford Fire Department for their life-saving actions last year when a truck became submerged in the water at Cummings Park. The award was presented at the White House during a ceremony in the East Room honoring fifteen public safety officers from across the country, including two officers who died in the line of duty.
“We are very proud of the brave actions of these Stamford Firefighters,” said Mayor Caroline Simmons. “This is one of the highest honors to receive and our City celebrates their heroic actions and we are extremely proud that their actions were acknowledged by the President of the United States.”
Last year, these firefighters dove into freezing water during a blizzard to rescue two trapped occupants of a truck that was rapidly sinking below the waterline. After rescuing one victim, the truck fully submerged and facing strong offshore winds, the rescuers then broke a glass window – while underwater – and successfully pulled the remaining passenger out to safety.
“All three of our Stamford firefighters demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery and selfless courage putting their lives on the line to save the victims from the frigid waters that day,” said Ted Jankowski, the Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare. “Their actions represent the greatest traits of the Stamford Fire Department – teamwork, ingenuity, and heroism – and shows the unwavering commitment of our brave men and women to selflessly protect the life and property of Stamford residents.”
“It was an honor to be at the White House to see our firefighters receive this great honor by the President of the United States,” said Fire Chief Trevor Roach. “These members are heroes among heroes who performed those rescues with determination, under treacherous conditions. Their actions have made the department extremely proud.”
The Medal of Valor is awarded to public safety officers who have exhibited exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in the attempt to save or protect others from harm. Today the award was presented for acts of bravery in eight different incidents during the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 award cycles. Nine police officers and six firefighters received the award for acts of bravery in the line of duty.