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:
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."
"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.
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."