On September 9th, Justin Galvin was heading to Walgreens to pick up some items for his sister when he, as well as many others, saw a burning car driving down the street. Rather than calling 911 like most others who witnessed the car, Justin decided to take this matter into his own hands.
Justin was worried that the burning vehicle could explode at any moment, but he still sprinted towards the vehicle yelling, “Stop the car! Your car is on fire! Your car is on fire!” in an attempt to get the drivers attention. Soon he realized that the driver was not able to stop the car, and he was able to get to the car and pull open the hot car door latches just in time for the woman to leap to safety and to ask the 9-year-old child in the backseat to unbuckle her siblings, 4 and 1 in order for him to safely remove them all from the burning vehicle. The vehicle reportedly became engulfed in flames just moments after everyone was safely removed from the vehicle.
The Waterbury Police Department stated that the mother of the children credits Justin Gavin for saving all of their lives. “I just felt like if I was in that situation, I would want somebody to help me out,” Justin said. “I guess my instincts took over.”
As an honor for his heroic actions, Justin was awarded a challenge coin by the police department, a recognition that is typically only received by stand-out police officers. “It’s just to acknowledge this heroic act that you conducted today, and just a token of my appreciation for you being a great member of this community,” Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said to Justin in the police department’s Facebook video.
“I hope that when you have that coin it just reminds you of this day and you can reflect back on all the good that came out of this for you and that family that you saved,” Police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said to Justin, which made him realize that life is short.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes, among many others, praised Justin for his heroic actions.
18 year-old Justin Gavin rescued a mother and three children, from a burning car in Waterbury on Wednesday. Thank you for your bravery, Justin~ the world needs more Justin’s.https://t.co/leFw9tyUm3
— Jahana Hayes (@RepJahanaHayes) September 11, 2020