Orange County firefighters receive medals for rescuing family

Ceremony held at Full Sail University in Winter Park

WINTER PARK, Fla. – Orange County Fire Rescue honored dozens of its own Thursday night during the department's second annual Medal Day ceremony.

The event was held in an auditorium at Full Sail University in Winter Park. The ceremony recognized firefighters whose actions went above and beyond.

Lt. Joseph Spainhoward and some of his fellow firefighters were in attendance for the service and received one of the most distinguished awards for their quick actions on Jan. 4.

"I will always remember this evening, and I will always remember that evening," said Spainhoward.

Two adults and a toddler were injured when an SUV passed underneath a tanker truck, trapping two adults in the vehicle. 

"I could imagine that being my daughter I could imagine that being my mother, my grandmother or grandfather," said Spainhoward.

Fire officials said the toddler was rescued by bystanders after the crash on East Colonial Drive and Gloucester Street before first responders extricated the two adults.

"Your priorities and instincts take over, and you do what needs to be done. After the fact you realize what you have accomplished," said Spainhoward.

Spainhoward said he was overwhelmed by the acknowledgment he and his fellow firefighters received for their actions that go unseen and unrecognized by the public.

"I would hope that if my daughter was in the same position, individuals would go until the ends of the earth."

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