July 15, 2022

Ingrid Lewis-Martin, Senior Advisor to the Mayor: Buenas tardes. In fact, it’s an honor for me to be here as we celebrate one of our heroes. So I welcome the members of the FDNY, your union president, the president of the Vulcan Society. I am Chaplain Dr. Ingrid P. Lewis-Martin, Senior Advisor to our Mayor, Eric Adams. And we’re celebrating a hero, Stefon Douglas. Without further ado, it is my great honor and pleasure to introduce our 110th Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams.

Mayor Eric Adams: Stefon should be up here. Good to see you, man. Thanks. My other ear is pierced like you. Real, I was reading this report and it was just a powerful, powerful summary from someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty. And I’m sure the ones that are his colleagues and the union that represents this important line of work and is never off duty. That is the conclusion. I’m sure Commissioner Kavanagh would say the same thing that when it comes to being off duty you don’t even listen. Whether you’re a firefighter, EMT, EMS, police officer, it’s always responding.

Mayor Adams: Here, he finishes his work shift, on his way home, he could have gone home, but instead he saw flames coming out of a building, a house. He wasn’t dressed in his normal firefighter attire, but he responded immediately. He responded and took a garden hose, began to put out the flames, entered the house, heard the screams of a child, made his way through the smoke and flames to reach the child who was in a bathroom and saved him. . He saved the baby, allowed her to be rescued. And he says a lot about when you signed up for a profession like this, you actually say to yourself, this is the reason why I signed up.

Mayor Adams: That’s why I became a firefighter, and I’m sure you said that. And that’s how I felt being a police officer when I took actions like that. And for that we just want to say thank you. Thank you for going above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you for putting yourself at risk and thank you for saving a child. And that baby will never forget it. You are permanently connected to her and that child is going to relive this story. We know there is a tragic part, but throughout that tragedy, you were there and showed a level of bravery that we want to pause and say thank you very much.

Mayor Adams: And that’s why we tell people to join the FDNY, and you are a symbol of what it means, a young man who has a promising career and probably one of the most dangerous assignments we could ever experience. I would never forget the commissioner and I, when we were in the Bronx at the Bronx fire and walking through the building and seeing the level of smoke and the training that you have to go through, it’s a very challenging job. And people don’t realize that even after the smoke is gone and the fire is out, the men and women who do this work, just because of smoke inhalation, because of stress.

Mayor Adams: We buried firefighters this year who went through some terrible parts of the job, so it really means a lot when we can pause for a moment and just say thank you. And we wanted to make sure we didn’t stop doing it because of his heroic actions. And I want to pass the floor to the commissioner, Commissioner Kavanagh.

Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, Fire Department: Thank you, Mr Mayor. And I agree with everything you say, it’s great to have a happy day. And as you mentioned in every speech I’ve given since I’ve taken this job, I talk about how being a firefighter is a role on and off duty. That once you put on the uniform, this is who you are and you exemplify it for us today and we couldn’t be more proud. It’s great to be able to celebrate you, say thank you. And from what I understand, you also had your equipment in your car. So not only was he ready to rescue, but he was prepared and his training was ready to begin.

Acting Commissioner Kavanagh: So I think you are an inspiration to your colleagues who are sitting here. You are an inspiration to me. You are an inspiration to a future generation of firefighters and you are certainly an inspiration and a second chance at life for that little girl. So we can’t thank you enough.

Firefighter Stefon Douglas: Thanks.

Mayor Adams: Thanks.

Douglas: I just want to say thank you for everyone who is here. Thanks for an award. I love this job. And I took a chance and it became something that, I can’t even imagine some of the experiences that I’ve been through, the opportunities that come up. And I just want to say thank you everyone. It has been a blessing. Thanks.

Mayor Adams: Thanks.

Lewis Martin: In fact, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Kavanagh are honored to present our hero, Stefon Douglas, with a Proclamation that marks today, Friday, July 15, as Stefon Douglas Firefighter Day. Thanks.

Mayor Adams: Congratulations.

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