FWC lieutenant earns award for daring rescue
Friday, January 21, 2011
Media contact: Katie Purcell, 850-459-6585
Lt. Anthony "Tony" Wright of the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) received an FWC "Lifesaving
with Valor" award Jan. 20 for rescuing a woman trapped inside a
burning car. And his daring deed north of Jacksonville was caught
"I am honored to be recognized for this rescue,"
Wright said. "But I was just doing my job. When I realized that
someone needed help, it was natural to respond."
It was nearly 11 p.m. on Nov. 11 and Wright had
just returned home after finishing his shift. When his sons heard a
loud noise, Wright put his uniform back on to go investigate.
After checking in with FWC dispatch, Wright headed
down the road, where he found a vehicle that had struck a power
pole and caught fire. Wright requested assistance from the local
fire department and sheriff's office while he exhausted his fire
extinguisher trying to smother the flames.
When bystanders informed Wright that no one had
exited the car after the crash, he tried to open the doors of the
vehicle. When that didn't work, he grabbed a tire iron, smashing
out one of the side windows, then a rear one.
Wright could see the victim through the rear
window. She was panicked and appeared to be stuck. With flames
further engulfing the car, Wright climbed on top of the car's
trunk. With help from a member of the Nassau County Sheriff's
Office, he was finally able to pull the victim through the rear
window to safety.
The victim survived with minor injuries.
"We are extremely proud of Lt. Wright's heroic
actions," said Col. Jim Brown, director of the FWC's Division of
Law Enforcement. "Our officers are trained to respond to a variety
of situations, but this is something that is difficult to
anticipate. It truly required quick reflexes, smart decisions and
The details of his daring rescue prove just how
vital FWC officers are to public safety. Though their shifts may
end each day, they are virtually on call 24 hours a day to help
people in need.
Footage of the rescue, provided by the Nassau
County Sheriff's Office, has been uploaded to the FWC's file
transfer site. For access, please contact Katie Purcell at
850-459-6585 or Katie.Purcell@MyFWC.com.