PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A Pensacola police officer was awarded the prestigious Medal of Valor this week for his lifesaving efforts on Mother’s Day in 2021.
Pensacola Police Officer Anthony Giorgio said Wednesday he remains humbled after receiving the medal Monday in Washington D.C. President Joe Biden put the medal around his neck.
“He thanked us,” Giorgio said. “He told us we were all heroes.”
Giorgio was awarded the medal for his lifesaving efforts at Johnson Beach on Mother’s Day in 2021. He’s credited with saving two children and a woman struggling to swim in the Gulf. He was not on duty.
Giorgio recalled that day with WKRG News 5.
“My mom loses color in her face, and she says something of the nature of ‘Anthony, they’re drowning,’” he said. “As I get to the water’s edge, I dive in and swim to the first person I can see. After I got that person in, I kind of hand them off.”
Giorgio then rescued another child and a woman. However, he credits everyone there who helped that day.
“I think everybody was there for a reason. I think God placed everybody there,” Giorgio said. “I think if one person who needed to be there but wasn’t, we would’ve had a different outcome.”
Giorgio said he was stunned when he first heard about “big news” regarding the medal expected to be announced by Pensacola Police Chief Eric Randall.
“(His assistant) was like I got some really big news. Chief is going to call and tell you about. You got to be by your phone,” he said. “I was like, ‘you know who you’re speaking to right? This is Anthony Giorgio.’ She was like, ‘yeah, I know.’ I was in shock.”
For Giorgio, he says he was just doing his job.
“I don’t think you think in those moments,” he said. “You just kind of react and have this overwhelming desire and sense that you have to do something and something has to get done right then.”
Officer Giorgio is 11th recipient of the Medal of Valor in the Pensacola Police Department’s history.
WKRG News 5 recognized Giorgio’s efforts in May 2021 during our Smiles Behind the Shield segment. Bravo again, officer.