Firefighter Chris Ciaccio Awarded Medal of Valor for Life-Saving Rescue

Brookhaven Lab firefighter Chris Ciaccio has received the Suffolk County Fire Academy’s Silver Medal of Valor for rescuing Commack resident Evelyn Cohen from her burning home this past July. Cohen and her husband both needed help escaping the burning structure. Ciaccio lifted her out of a window and into the arms of police officers waiting outside while other firefighters saved her husband.  

“Even though this didn’t happen at the Lab, the Fire Rescue team have been phenomenally supportive, especially for showing up at the award reception,” Ciaccio said. “It’s very humbling and nice to feel like part of the family, especially considering how new I am to the Lab.”  

Ciaccio has also proven himself to be an outstanding member of Brookhaven’s Fire Rescue Group since he joined the Lab less than a year ago. He comes to Brookhaven with 11 years’ experience as a New York City police officer, 15 years as a local volunteer firefighter, and 13 years of experience as an emergency medical technician.  

"Despite being the newest member of our team, everyone wants Chris by their side when the call comes in,” said Brookhaven Fire Chief Marcel Rosenfeld. “His ability to take charge and lead in high-pressure situations is a testament to his commitment and competence."   

Becoming a Brookhaven Lab firefighter requires extensive training and experience to ensure that candidates are equipped to face challenges beyond what is typically seen in local community fire departments. These rigorous requirements demonstrate the Lab’s Fire Rescue team's high standards of preparedness, efficiency, and safety. 

"Chris is constantly evaluating the situation and surroundings from all angles,” Deputy Fire Chief William Nevin said. “He's a great example of what our fire rescue group is made of." 

Learn more about the Lab’s Fire Rescue Group

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