ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – An Orange County corrections officer is being recognized for his life-saving efforts in rescuing a disabled man from an apartment fire last month.
During a ceremony Monday, Master Corrections Officer Geovanie Hernandez was presented with Orange County Fire Rescue's Distinguished Service Award.
The award was presented by the fire station that initially responded to a fire June 2.
According to firefighters, the off-duty corrections officer ran inside an apartment in the 700 block of Jamestown Drive after seeing heavy smoke.
"I noticed some flames. There appeared to be a kitchen, from what I could see through the smoke, and a victim," Hernandez said.
Once inside the unit, officials said Hernandez put out the fire and helped escort the tenant to a safe distance outside.
Firefighters arrived after the rescue and treated the victim on the scene for signs of smoke inhalation.
“Had it not been for the actions and quick thinking of Mr. Hernandez, the victim could have succumbed from the smoke,” Fire Chief James Fitzgerald said.
After the presentation, Hernandez said he was honored by the recognition and hopes his actions provide inspiration for others to do the right thing when it matters most.
"The world's a crazy place, and I think that some good, just caring for your fellow man, is kind of the recipe we're missing nowadays, so I do my best to do that," Hernandez said.