December 2017 Above & Beyond Award: Mario Oquendo Jr.

Mario Oquendo Jr.

Firefighter (18 years)

Hartford Fire Department

Hartford, CT


Nominated by Deborah Oquendo:

“I nominate my Dad because I have never met anyone who loves his job as much as he does.  He started off as a young boy from Hartford.  He was raised in the projects and in a single family home.  He turned out to be a successful man no matter the circumstances.  Instead of leaving the city, he chose to serve in the community where he grew up in.  He was a firefighter on the line for 11 years and a Special Services Lieutenant for 7 years, where he served the community and emphasized on fire safety education.  He was also recently promoted to Fire Captain of Engine Company 1 early this year.  He spent many of his nights relocating families that went through fires in their home and partnered with the Red Cross. In 2011, he was nominated as Fire Fighter of the Year.  He is an excellent leader.  He also graduated from the Leadership Greater Hartford Program with the intention of becoming a better leader for those among him.  He strives hard to become a better person not for himself, but for others.  He has a passion for his community and wants the people of Hartford to succeed –  especially our young people.  In his role at Special Services, he was a leader for the fire explorer and Cadet Program.  He has also was a speaker at Job Corps of America Men’s Conference.  He is a selfless man and gives 100% of himself for the city of Hartford and its people.  He goes above and beyond and has a special love for everyone he encounters.  For this, he deserves to be honored. Thank you.”

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