On June 4‚ 2011‚ Firefighter/Paramedic Anthony M. Valerio of the San Francisco Fire Department died at the age of 53 from injuries he sustained while serving in the line of duty. His death brought immense sorrow and loss to the people of the local community and throughout the state. He was a shining star amongst San Francisco’s courageous and was a dedicated firefighter/paramedic for 27 years.
Born on August 14‚ 1957‚ in Fort Monmouth‚ New Jersey‚ while his father served in the U.S. Army‚ Firefighter/Paramedic Tony Valerio was raised in Italy‚ Hawaii‚ and South San Francisco‚ California. He was a 1975 graduate of El Camino High School. After earning a degree from San Francisco State University‚ Tony Valerio began his public service career in 1980 as an EMT with Acme Western in Oakland‚ California. In 1984‚ he was hired on with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH) as a paramedic.
With the merger of the DPH and the San Francisco Fire Department in 1999‚ Tony Valerio became a firefighter/paramedic. Throughout his years with the SFFD‚ he was known as an exemplary model of professionalism‚ honesty‚ and integrity. He was immensely respected by his colleagues for his compassion‚ kindness‚ and patience for his fellow man in time of need. His dedication to service will continue to serve as a fine example to his fellow firefighters.
Self-described as ‘The People’s Paramedic‚’ Firefighter/Paramedic Tony Valerio will be remembered for his charismatic smile and personality‚ for his quick wit and uncanny ability to find humor in any situation. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends and indulging in his varied interests. He was a man who lived his life as an adventure. He was an avid surfer‚ scuba diver‚ cyclist‚ athlete‚ a world traveler who spoke several languages‚ a San Francisco sourdough bread baker‚ and a volunteer for the SFFD Toy Program.
Firefighter/Paramedic Tony Valerio was a loving son who grew up into a good man‚ brother‚ uncle‚ and friend. He is survived by his parents‚ Lorraine and Frank; his sisters‚ Marina‚ Donna‚ Jacqueline‚ and Laura; his brothers‚ Mark and Kevin; his sister-in-law‚ Lynda Valerio; his brothers-in-law‚ Bill Walkup‚ Tim Samsel‚ and Joe Fanfa; his nephews‚ Austin and Jared Samsel‚ Kevin Mullins‚ and Thomas Walkup; his nieces‚ Melissa Walkup and Stephanie Dumm; his former wife‚ Ellen; and a host of other family members and many longtime and loyal friends.
He served as an example to all who served with him and will always be remembered and forever be in our hearts.