August 4, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – Heroes of Labor Nominee Brian J. Colleluori, FDNY Lieutenant Ladder Co. 174, Uniformed Fire Officer’s Association, Local 854 Nominated by James A. Lemonda, President and Chiefs’ Representative, UFOA Local 854
Brian J. Colleluori, FDNY Lieutenant Ladder Co. 174, Uniformed Fire Officer’s Association, Local 854, is nominated for the Heroes of Labor Award by James A. Lemonda, President and Chiefs’ Representative, UFOA Local 854.
Lieutenant Colleluori started with the Fire Department in April of 1999 as an EMT, and became a Fire Fighter in October of 2001. He was assigned to the Bronx Engine Company 46, then to Ladder 27 in the same firehouse. Promoted to Lieutenant in February of 2010 in Brooklyn, 15th Division, in September 2014 he was assigned to Ladder Co. 174 in East Flatbush. On being a fireman, Lieutenant Colleluori says, “It’s exciting; I always wanted to do it. My father was a fireman, and when I got in the Fire Department, it was a dream come true.”
It was in East Flatbush, in April of 2015, that Lieutenant Colleluori faced a situation that has led to his nomination by President Lemonda’s for the Heroes of Labor Award. Lieutenant Colleluori described what happened: “It was an early morning fire, 3 a.m. We responded from the
Firehouse, got to the location, and had heavy smoke coming from the house. At that time of night, you are always thinking that people will be in the house. I got entry, and found two occupants. It was incredibly hot, and so much smoke that you couldn’t see. We were forced to
crawl on our hands and knees. The first occupant I found was an unconscious male. We had crawled in about 25 feet. Behind him there was a garage door that enabled us to get him out faster. While the guys took him out, I continued, and found a female ten to twelve feet further
in. The fire grew in intensity, and worsened. I got her, and had to lay on top of her to protect her from the flames; I knew without doing that, she would have no chance. I’m not sure how much time passed – every second felt like an hour. The engine company eventually brought in hose lines to put out the fire, and that enabled us to remove the victim. Tragically, she succumbed.”
Despite that loss, Lieutenant Colleluori’s actions saved the first victim’s life, and, as President Lemonda says, “Lieutenant Brian Colleluori was selected to receive the 2016 James Gordon Bennett medal/NYS Honorary Fire Chief’s Association medal at this year’s FDNY Medal Day.
Lieutenant Colleluori is also the recipient of a unit citation and a pre-hospital save. Lieutenant Colleluori’s quick and decisive actions at the East Flatbush fire saved a man’s life; his bravery and perseverance truly speaks for itself.” The James Gordon Bennett medal is the highest award given out by the FDNY, and is only given out once a year. As for the Heroes of Labor Award, Lieutenant Colleluori says, “It’s a nice honor, unexpected. It’s an honor to represent the union and the Department.”