Bravery in the Line of Duty: North Branford Thanks Deputy Fire Chief Colangelo
Shown here with North Branford Mayor Jeffrey Macmillen at the November 16, 2021 Town Council meeting, Deputy Fire Chief Robert Colangelo was recognized for his heroic efforts in removing a victim from a house fire in November 2019. (Photo by Anthony Esposito)
At the Nov. 16 Town Council meeting, Deputy Fire Chief of Operations Robert Colangelo was recognized with a town-wide proclamation (shown here, presented by Mayor Jeffery Macmillen) and awarded the North Branford Fire Department's medal for bravery in the line of duty. (Photo by Anthony Esposito)
At the Nov. 16 Town Council meeting, Deputy Fire Chief of Operations Robert Colangelo was recognized with a town-wide proclamation and awarded the North Branford Fire Department's (NBFD) medal for bravery in the line of duty.
On behalf of the Town Council, the North Branford Fire Commission and the residents of North Branford, Mayor Jeffrey Macmillen presented Colangelo with a proclamation recognizing his "brave and heroic actions" to rescue a victim of a fire in the Northford section of town Nov. 30, 2019. At the same meeting, Fire Chief William Seward III and the commission presented Colangelo with the NBFD Medal for Bravery.
On Nov. 30, 2019, in response to 12:30 p.m. report of a chimney fire at a home on Village Street, NBFD was dispatched to the scene, with Medic 4 arriving at 12:32 p.m. and reporting heaving smoke from the chimney; followed, at 12:34 p.m., by reporting heavy fire from the furnace. At 12:35 p.m. Northford Volunteer Fire Co. 2 Captain Ken Neubig reported that an occupant was trapped in the structure.
Colangelo, who in 2019 was serving NBFD as Deputy Chief of Training, arrived at the scene at 12:37 p.m. He rushed to the rear of the house in full gear, broke out a basement window and entered the home without the aid of handline.Inside, Colangelo initiated a search and located an unconscious female victim that he retrieved and passed through a window to Medic 4 crew.
The crew initiated immediate pre-hospital care and transported the victim to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she regained consciousness.
As read by Macmillen, the proclamation underscored Colangelo "...exemplifies the brave commitment of our volunteer members. This event is a reminder of the peril each responder faces when answering the call."
Fire Chief William Seward III noted it was an "extraordinary rescue," among 1,832 alarms to which NBFD responded in 2019; 53 of which were fires; including one prior to the Nov. 30 event at a Foxon Road structure in which a resident succumbed to his injuries after being trapped.
With regard to the rescue which took place on Nov. 30, 2019, Seward said, "Robert Colangelo went far above and beyond what we expect our personnel to do, [to] rescue and remove an occupant who was trapped and endangered by fire."
While the resident could not attend, a member of the family was present at the Nov. 16 Town Council meeting and stood with Colangelo as he was presented with the NBFD medal.
Seward shared the medal was being awarded to Colangelo for "outstanding performance of duty under extreme hazardous conditions confronted with eminent personal risk."
"Deputy Chief Robert Colangelo has upheld the highest tradition of the fire service by his actions; hence we are awarding him a medal for bravery," Seward said.
Members of the North Branford Fire Commission joined Seward in presenting the medal to Colangelo with their congratulations.