Steven J. Velasquez‚ was born October 23‚ 1969‚ in Minneapolis‚ Minnesota‚ to Carol Velasquez and the late Joseph Velasquez. The second of three children‚ Steven’s life ended tragically July 24‚ 2010‚ in the line of duty. He was a beloved husband‚ father‚ brother‚ son‚ and friend to many. A quiet man‚ passionate about his family and job‚ he was loyal‚ chivalrous‚ and brave‚ with a sense of humor few understood. A man who did the right thing because it was the right thing to do.
Steven’s lifelong passion for fire service was evident in the challenges he pursued and mastered‚ which led him first to Prince George’s County‚ Maryland‚ then on to Bridgeport‚ where his legacy rose quickly both as firefighter and friend. His knowledge and dedication were only surpassed by his fearlessness. He was known by his fellow firefighters to use his keen abilities to create rescue techniques that made him legendary on the Bridgeport Fire Department.
These qualities earned him numerous department awards‚ including the Medal of Valor‚ the Medal of Merit‚ and four company citations. The Medal of Valor‚ the department’s second highest award‚ was awarded to him after Steven led a group of firefighters to safety as fire was impinging on their position‚ blocking their escape route.
Steven’s busy schedule never stood in the way of being there for others‚ as was evident during the days following the terrorist attacks on September 11‚ 2001. Either helping out at Ground Zero for search and rescue‚ recovery‚ or attending the funerals to follow‚ Steven was there for the New York City Fire Department.
Steven was promoted to lieutenant in August of 2008 and assigned to Ladder 11‚ where he worked hard to train and develop his crew into a solid team working well together while enjoying a good laugh.
As passionate as Steven was about firefighting‚ his greatest joy in life was his family. He looked forward to his days off‚ to be able to spend quality time with them‚ whether fishing with his son‚ Aaron‚ walks in the park with his 2-year-old daughter‚ Salina‚ or a Broadway show with Marianne‚ his wife and partner for over 15 years. Besides his family‚ Steven leaves his mother‚ Carol; siblings‚ Cindy and Jason‚ in Minnesota; as well as a group of friends who will forever miss his humble character and deep loyalty they intimately came to know. Steven’s family and friends‚ along with the Bridgeport Fire Department‚ feel the deep loss‚ as Steven had so much more to give both as a firefighter and friend.
Steven‚ you will never be forgotten. Although we are apart‚ you are always and forever alive within my heart.