Freeport firefighter awarded medal of valor


Freeport Fire Department’s Assistant Chief, Anthony Sotira, was recently awarded the Silver Medal of Valor by the Nassau County Fire Commission for his heroic actions in rescuing a victim trapped in a house fire in Roosevelt, New York on November 4 of last year.

Sotira, alongside a few cops, tried to rescue the victim from the rear window but were met with flames. Eventually, with more help they were able to breach the rear wall and pull the victim out. Unfortunately, the victim succumbed to her injuries four days later. However, Sotira’s actions allowed the family to have an opportunity to say goodbye, which wouldn’t have been possible otherwise.

“We threw a ladder and tried to make entry through the rear window, but we were met with fire,” Sotira said. “We breached the rear wall and pulled her out.”

The Silver Medal of Valor is the second-highest honor given by the National Academy and is awarded based on the degree of danger the firefighter places themselves in to execute the rescue. The award ceremony held by Nassau County recognized heroism among firefighters in the area, with around 20 medals given out that night.

“The highest Silver Medal of Valor being second, and it’s based on a degree of danger that the firefighter places himself in in order to execute the rescue,” Raymond Maguire, Executive Director of the Freeport Fire Department said. 

Sotira’s actions are an example of the bravery and dedication exhibited by firefighters in Nassau County, who put their lives at risk to save others. 

During the ceremony, Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy placed the Silver Medal on Assistant Chief Sotira alongside Fire Commission Chairman Len Cherson and Fire Marshall Michael Uttaro.

“That was an honor for the mayor to bestow that award to his own fire department,” Maguire said.