Conn. FF injured in fatal fire creates EMT scholarship fund in honor of fallen FF

The Ricardo Torres Jr. scholarship was created from a $50,000 donation to the City of New Haven by Lt. Samod Rankins


By Rachel Engel

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A fire lieutenant who was injured in the line of duty is creating a scholarship fund as a pathway to public service in honor of a firefighter who was killed on the same call.

Lt. Samod Rankins and Firefighter Ricardo Torres, 30, were working a fire together on May 12 when Torres was killed in the line of duty, NBC Connecticut reported

Rankins was hospitalized twice for his injuries, the second time for lung complications.

The lieutenant said he was grateful for the community’s support, and announced he would be creating a scholarship in Torres’ name that would allow residents to become EMTs.

“Knowing I was surrounded by so much love, brought me a sense of peace and comfort during such a difficult time,” a statement from Rankins said. “You have helped carry the burden of this journey and your prayers made all the difference in my healing. I have a long road ahead of me, but I know I’m not alone. Out of such a dark time came so much light and love. You brightened my darkest days and continue to help me fight each and every day. You have made a huge difference in my world and I pray a special blessing in return.”

The “Ricardo Torres Jr.” scholarship would help fund the cost of an EMT certification program for residents, putting them on a public safety career path.

“I’m creating scholarships to help New Haven residents obtain their EMT certification which will give residents a helping hand in pursuing their firefighter career paths,” Rankins said in the statement.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • Reside in the City of New Haven
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Write a one-page essay as to why they want to become a firefighter

The application period opens on Aug. 1.

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