Thursday, June 19, 2014

Middletown Veteran & Candidate Angel Fernandez Receives Award for Rescue Efforts

Angel Fernandez
Local veteran & Deputy Chief of Middletown's Emergency management Angel Fernandez reminisces as he marks the decade anniversary of his receiving a special award for going above the call of duty to serve the public. Fernandez, who is also the Deputy Director of the  National 65th Regiment Historical Society and former Amvet Warrior Transition Coordinator (a national position with a 1 year term), was honored for heroic actions which helped to save lives. Fernandez received this honor in 2004, and 10 years later, still recounts the day as one that made him want to better serve his community by running for public office.

Currently, Fernandez, a conservative Republican, is running for State Legislator in the 100th District, much of which is comprised of Middletown. Fernandez studied Public Safety Administration and Criminal Justice at Central Connecticut State University. Fernandez is a veteran, having served in combat during wartime.  Fernandez was enlisted in the U.S. Navy from  1989 to 2007. Upon retirement from the Navy in 2007, he received the J. Edgar Hoover award. Fernandez has young children in the Middletown public school system, and is the father of a soldier currently serving overseas.  

When asked for this article what he learned in his military career that will make him suitable as a state representative, Fernandez said:

Conceptualized over 4 years ago, 
The Five Conflict Memorial 

 Middletown was dedicated this past 

Memorial Day . Fernandez played a key role in 

working with local, state, & national

 Veterans' organizations to bring the project to fruition. 
Having himself served in combat, this project was
 particularly important for Fernandez.
“What I learned in the military is that you listen to your people and take care of them. Be honest during good and bad moments. Honesty will take you a long way. Lying will do nothing but diminish your character as a leader. That's my game plan as a legislator; to use my leadership skills to help people understand that I am living and sacrificing on a daily basis. I know what it is to struggle in our state's current economy. I can relate to any resident because that’s what I did whenever I went to foreign country; I trained to understand people of different cultures and diversities.”

Fernandez, founder/president of  Eleven Charlie LLC, a security training company,  previously captured the spirit of altruism & giving back to the community when he donated specialized disaster training to Middletown Emergency crews and police.

Read about this training project in our previous article here:

More information about Fernandez & his campaign for the 100th District can be found here:

The full article, published at Dolphin News, serving New London's Naval community, explaining Fernandez's heroism award is below:
By:JO3 Steven Feller
West Hartford, Conn. - The last thing Master-at-Arms 2nd Class Angel Fernandez (PJ) expected to deal with as he drove down Interstate 84 on March 12 was a multi-vehicle accident, but that was exactly the hand life dealt him. Six weeks later, Fernandez was recognized by the West Hartford Police Department (WHPD) for his role in responding to the accident and rendering first aid to the victims.

In a ceremony at City Hall last Friday, Fernandez and seven other citizens, were awarded the WHPD Recognition Award, which is given to citizens and officers who go above and beyond the call of duty to assist the WHPD and the general public.

Fernandez said he had just left work and was on his way to a medical appointment when fate steered him in another direction."I was driving west on I-84 when an eastbound driver crossed the median and hit a vehicle," said Fernandez. "Nobody was stopping; so I turned around, turned my lights on, deployed flares and secured the scene."
After a passing motorist called 911, Fernandez was working solo for five minutes before two officers from the WHPD arrived on scene.

"When we (WHPD Officers James Mahon and Brian Wallace) arrived, we saw that Fernandez had shut down a traffic lane by himself...and that's not easy. We have trouble doing that with our cruisers," said Wallace.

While other emergency personnel were en route to the scene, Fernandez began first aid. One victim was lying in the middle of the road and the others were trapped in their vehicles.

"There were a lot of broken legs and head and chest injuries," said Fernandez. "As emergency personnel extracted the victims from their vehicles, I relayed information to the emergency personnel. I also talked with the victims, maintained their vital signs and helped get them stabilized."

Assistant Police Chief Robert McCue said it is difficult to measure the amount of lives saved by Fernandez' actions.

"Just by closing that traffic lane, he did a lot," said McCue. "That could've been your or my family driving down the road that could've been involved in that accident. Not only did he give aid, but he protected the other drivers on the highway."

Wallace agreed with McCue's notion that Fernandez helped a lot more people than just the accident victims.

"There was a victim in roadway and by shutting down the lane, Fernandez prevented that man from possibly getting run over," said Wallace.

After the ordeal was over, Wallace and Mahon came to their chief with the story and the department decided to recognize Fernandez with the award.

Although many are grateful for what Fernandez has done, Fernandez is modest about his award and doesn't make a big deal about it. In fact, he didn't even tell his coworkers about the accident at work the following Monday; they had to hear about it from the WHPD.

"I didn't say anything to my command (about the accident)," said Fernandez. "It was just a normal day for me."

The officers of the WHPD hope that others can follow Fernandez' example of civic duty and not be afraid to help out when people are in need.

"We have awards ceremonies like this as a 'Thank You,'" said McCue. "Hopefully, ceremonies like this will get others to say, 'Hey, I can do that too' or 'Maybe I should get involved if I see (something) happen.'"

"Too many people don't get recognized and far too often, people don't get involved and do their civic duty to aid the police and help those who are injured," said Wallace. "Fernandez was effective in helping those victims. He did a phenomenal job."

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