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Remembering San Francisco Firefighters

Sen. Barbara Boxer

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Mr. President, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the memory of Lieutenant Vincent ``Vince'' Perez, and Firefighter and Paramedic Anthony ``Tony'' Valerio. Both of these heroes were long time veterans of the San Francisco Fire Department who were tragically killed in the line of duty fighting a fire on June 2, 2011.

During their many years of service to the city of San Francisco, both Vincent and Anthony earned the respect and admiration of those with whom they worked by consistently going above and beyond the call of duty. Both men led by example, and were considered shining stars among San Francisco's courageous and dedicated firefighters.

Vincent was a San Francisco native, growing up in San Francisco's Mission District and Bernal Heights neighborhoods. He attended St. Charles Elementary School, and graduated from Archbishop Riordan High School in 1981. After high school, Vincent attended City College of San Francisco, and then served his country in the U.S. Marine Corps and later as a deputy sheriff in Alameda County.

In 1990, Vincent joined the San Francisco Fire Department, ultimately rising to the position of lieutenant, where he supervised the crew of Engine Company 26, located in San Francisco's Diamond Heights neighborhood.

Vincent is survived by his mother Irene; siblings Lucio, Maryleen, and Alexander; many other family members and loved ones; and was preceded in death by his father Vincent and brother David.

Anthony was born in Fort Monmouth, NJ, and later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1975, he graduated from El Camino High School in South San Francisco and then went on to earn an associate's degree from San Francisco State University.

He embarked on his career in public service in 1980, starting as an EMT at Acme Western in the city of Oakland and later as a paramedic for 13 years with the San Francisco Department of Public Health. In 1997, Anthony began serving the City as both a firefighter and paramedic who was assigned to numerous fire stations in the city, including his last assignment with Engine Company 26.

Anthony is survived by his parents Lorraine and Frank; siblings Jacqueline, Donna, Marina, Laura, Mark, and Kevin; and many other family members and loved ones.

Lieutenant Vincent Perez and Firefighter and Paramedic Anthony Valerio dedicated their lives to their family, community, and Nation, and they will long be remembered for their courage and dedication. Their service and bravery inspired others and both will be deeply missed by all who knew them. I extend my deepest sympathies to both men's families, colleagues, and friends.