MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Nearly a dozen first responders were honored on Wednesday for going above and beyond this past year.
The Miami Beach Chamber’s Pillar Board recognized the group at its annual “Heroes Breakfast” at Tower 41 in Miami Beach.READ MORE: NFL Player Malik McDowell Bonds Out Of Jail, Charged With Public Exposure, Aggravated Battery
The honorees included Miami Beach police K9 Rocky and Officer Alejandro Llaneras, Officer Alberto Castro, Sergeant Jenny Cerna, Miami Beach Firefighter Ryan Yuhr, Firefighter Armando Albadalejo, Firefighter Robert Rapado, Lifeguard II David Cupp, Lieutenant Lifeguard Desi Stoyanova, Communications Operator Madeline Jimenez, Commissioner David Richardson, and Mount Sinai Medical Center Dr. Ari Ciment.
“The Annual Heroes Breakfast is one of the most popular events that the Chamber holds because it’s a community event,” said Pillar Board Chair Seth Feuer. “The business community gathers and celebrates the bravery of individuals who play a critical role in keeping our communities safe.”
The morning included heroic stories of each honoree, like how firefighters Ryan Yuhr and Armando Albadalejo stopped a 96-year-old man from being scammed out of more than $10,000.
“Mr. Sunshine shared that he was planning to withdraw $10,800 from his bank account to send to his daughter, who he believed was being held in a New York City jail,” recounted Chief Jorge Linares with the Miami Beach Fire Department.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Cooler, Pleasant Weather Continues Through Thursday
Chief Linares said his two firefighters, who had stopped by the man’s house to give him the COVID-19 shot, made phone calls and proved the elderly man was indeed being scammed.
Wednesday’s event also included an emotional moment with Miami Beach firefighter Robert Rapado who helped rescue several people, including children, from a wreck.
The crash on Southwest 48th Street and Southwest 87th Avenue left multiple people hurt and killed a two-year-old child. Rapado was off-duty when he noticed the crash and pulled over to help.
“He made his way through the wreckage and heard a woman screaming, ‘my kids, my kids’,” said Chief Linares. “Rapado found the two-year-old in cardiac arrest and immediately started CPR. Sadly, in spite of firefighter Rapado’s heroic efforts, the two-year-old would not survive the horrible accident. Miami-Dade firefighters praised Robert for his calm and professionalism in a very chaotic scene.”MORE NEWS: Woman Struck, Killed By Train In Deerfield Beach
Each honoree on Wednesday was given a gift package totaling close to $5,000 from dozens of local businesses.