Real heroes work hard, as Eladio “Andy” Martinez, contest finalist and runner-up, illustrates. The Philadelphia firefighter goes above and beyond the call of duty, working full schedules and massive amounts of overtime to serve his community and provide for his family. It’s not just his epic work ethic that is inspiring, but the difference he makes in the lives of everyone in his community.
In his six years with Engine 61 of the Philadelphia Fire Department, Martinez has accomplished a lot. He has twice earned recognition in the form of Unit Citations for rescuing a trapped three-year-old child and saving numerous lives during a potentially catastrophic two-alarm fire at an apartment complex.
For Martinez, giving even this overwhelming amount of service isn’t quite enough. When Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012, he spent days volunteering as an EMT in North Jersey, helping the people who needed it most in the storm’s aftermath. He dedicates time to reaching out to prospective new firefighters as part of Philadelphia’s Recruitment Team. Somehow, he still finds the time and energy to be a community leader in his church and the ultimate family man, active in the lives of his children and, according to his wife, “a hero at work and at home.”