Carl Andriano, an Orlando firefighter, was a man of character, rigor and grit.
His family, friends and fellow firefighters know that firsthand.
They have raised funds to create a scholarship to celebrate his memory.
Carl adored his profession. The 24-year-old was committed and driven, setting a goal to become one of Orange County’s youngest lieutenants. He also was a true fighter for life. Last November, he was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer, which he fought valiantly. His fellow professionals rallied on his behalf, raising thousands of dollars to help pay for his medical treatment.
He attended Florida State Fire College, and in May 2008, joined Orange County Fire Rescue. Carl was initially stationed in Windermere. But he desired a greater challenge and worked his way up the ladder to Fire Station 30 in Orlo Vista, one of Orange County’s most prolific.
Colleagues admired Carl for his work ethic, integrity and professionalism. They raised more than $30,000 for Team Andriano to help with his medical expenses. Now, $25,000 will go toward scholarships for students in Valencia College’s firefighter training program in honor of Carl Andriano.
Team Andriano continues to raise funds in his honor. You may donate here and use the drop-down menu, or include as the notation on your check.
He left behind his beloved fiancee, Courtney Day, along with: his grandfather Edward Mullis; grandmother Rose Mullis; grandmother, Irene Myers; father, Dominick Andriano; mother, Linda Mullis; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.
His dear friend Robert Boone and his soon-to-be father-in-law, Mike Day, created this scholarship along with his fellow firefighters.
Here is what the Orlando Sentinel reported:
“He’s a really good fireman,” said Lt. Jimmy Berry.
Andriano spent his own money for additional training, which enabled him to work in specialized positions, such as driving a ladder truck.
Fire Chief Otto Drozd said Andriano made an impact in the community during his short time in the service.
“He was well-respected and well-loved,” Drozd said.
The Fire Department became Andriano’s life.
After Andriano was diagnosed with cancer, his peers rallied to support him as much as they could, coining the phrase: “He’ll forever be 30 strong” — a reference to their station number.
More than $30,000 was raised for “Team Andriano” to help with his medical expenses. Now, money will go toward scholarships for people who want to attend the fire academy.
Andriano didn’t live long enough to become a lieutenant. But during his years at Orange County Fire Rescue, Andriano — an only child — gained many brothers.
“We would take a bullet for each other,” Berry said.
Assistant Chief Jose Gainza Jr. said he watched as firefighters from Station 30 and across the region came together rally behind Andriano, his fiancée and family.
Downtown Orlando streets were shut down briefly to accommodate Carl’s funeral procession.
A memorial tribute celebrates his life.
Here is the Team Andriano Facebook page.
Thank you, Carl Andriano, for putting yourself in harm’s way to keep our neighbors safe. I am grateful to his family and friends for entrusting Carl’s legacy to Valencia, where another generation of firefighters will train.