Late at night on March 1, the Bellmore Fire Department received an emergency call concerning a vehicle that had struck a utility pole. Justin Angell, a volunteer firefighter and EMT was one of the first responders to the scene. As he exited his ambulance and prepared himself to attend to the driver of the disabled vehicle, he heard a loud bang and felt a pain in his back. Angell figured a transformer had exploded and he was hit with a piece of shrapnel. However, he had been shot with a high powered rifle by the same person he was trying to help.
Luckily for Angell, his injuries were not serious. He had miraculously avoided major damage from the bullet.
“That night, I was scared,” said Angell. “I didn’t know how it was going to work out, but it didn’t hit anything major. I didn’t have to get surgery, no major organs were hit. I’m doing great now.”
In an act of gratitude and appreciation, TD Bank and the New York Islanders reached out to Angell to honor him for his heroic actions that night and he was named TD Bank Hometown Hero, and was honored on March 8.
|Justin Angell was honored for his service as the TD Bank Hometown Hero during the Islanders matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 8, 2011. |
“They gave me 10 tickets to bring anyone I wanted, which was awesome,” said Angell. “It was a great game and I had a blast. They presented the award to me, put me up on the scoreboard and everything. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
The TD Bank Hometown Hero is a joint initiative between the New York Islanders and “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” to honor locals who go above and beyond to display exemplary courage.
TD Bank and the New York Islanders honor six Hometown Heroes over the course of the 2010-11 season. Each honoree receives tickets for their immediate family and friends, in addition to being recognized in the Coliseum during an Islanders game.
“I really appreciate the Islanders even recognizing me,” said Angell. “Even when I went back to my seat, people were coming up, shaking my hand.”
Angell was presented with an award by TD Bank, and was featured on the Nassau Coliseum video board, with a description of his heroic acts that night. Every fan in the building that night rose to their feet to thank Angell.
“I’ve been showing everybody the award,” said Angell. “Every time somebody comes over, I show it off. It’s something I can show my kids one day, and is definitely something I’ll keep on display.”
His bravery on the night of March 1 was recognized by the Islanders rather quickly. Angell is deeply appreciative of the outpouring of support from friends, family, and community.
“It was only three or four days after I got home from the hospital that we got the call from the Islanders about coming to a game,” said Angell. “That really blew my mind.”