Left to right, Assistant Chief Harry Wedin, Commissioner Ray Kelly, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, PO Ralph Stallone, Det. Joseph Fermaint, Sgt. Anthony Lisi, Det. Ed Birmingham.
On the morning of Tuesday, May 8, four officers took part in rescuing an emotionally disturbed man from the frigid waters off of South Beach, Staten Island. The man, weighing a reported 350 pounds, waded approximately 30 yards offshore before being pulled to safety by Sergeant Anthony Lisi and Officer Ralph Stallone, in full diving gear, while connected to lifelines secured by Detective Ed Birmingham and Detective Joseph Fermaint. Despite resistance from the man, these four heroes were able to complete the job and prevent a tragic loss of life.
The four heroes were honored at a ceremony this morning outside of ESU Truck 5 in Staten Island. Each was presented with a plaque in recognition of their courageous actions by Assemblywoman Malliotakis and Commissioner Ray Kelly. Also in attendance were Council Minority Leader James Oddo; Councilman Vincent Ignizio; Assistant Chief Kevin Ward, commander of Patrol Borough Staten Island; Assistant Chief Harry Wedin; commanding officer of the Special Operations Division; and Deputy Chief James Molloy, commanding officer of the Emergency Service Unit.
“As the ranking minority member of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Employees, I deal with our state’s law enforcement community and the issues that affect them on a daily basis – I’ve come to know many of the men and women who have chosen, as their profession, to put their lives on the line to protect their families, friends, and neighbors. I can’t hold them in any higher esteem,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis. “The officers of the ESU possess not only the greatest of strength, bravery, and tactical knowledge, but also a remarkable ability to operate and communicate calmly under inconceivable pressure.”