Patrice Maracano collects the Hummingbird Medal Bronze for her late husband fire officer Stephen Marcano. – SUREASH CHOLAI
FIREMAN Stephen Marcano, 39, died saving lives and if he had to do it again he would do so, his widow, Patrice Marcano. believes.
Marcano spoke to reporters on Wednesday at President’s House, St Ann’s, after collecting the Hummingbird Medal Silver from President Paula-Mae Weekes awarded posthumously to her husband for gallantry among the national awards for 2021.
Last Easter Sunday (April 4), Marcano took his wife and two sons, then aged 11 and 14, to the beach to celebrate his wife’s 31st birthday but tragedy struck.
A statement from President’s House recounted, “Mr Marcano was a member of the TT Fire Service for 11 years. He put the lives of others first when he ventured into the waters of Mayaro, to assist relatives who got into difficulties while bathing.
“In his act of selflessness, in an effort to save the lives of others, he paid the ultimate price with his life. He truly embodied the motto of the TT Fire Service, ‘In the service of the people.'”
Marcano recalled, “This date, on my birthday, we went to the beach to celebrate. Family started to go further out, and he just put his life out there.”
She said she was a proud wife to collect the medal for her late husband.
“I know he’s looking down seeing that. I was thinking for a while, ‘Should I go or should I not? How I would react?’
“With his strength I think I could stand up here today in front of all these cameras, knowing I’m camera-shy, to say I’m so proud to be Mrs Marcano and to get this medal. He’s such a brave personality and everything.
“I did it for the kids also, to make sure they see the footsteps their father walked in, they could walk also.
“So I’m very proud as Mrs Marcano to receive this letter today.”
Asked what keeps her going, she replied, “Thinking some day he will open that door. Me and my son we always think he is at work or he is doing something. So every day we always say, ‘Daddy’s at work,’ and you know that keeps us going at the end of the day.
“But he is looking. He is giving us strength. He’s giving us the energy to go, day by day.”
Marcano said the award showed her children they could do anything.
“Anything is possible. They could be in their father’s footsteps and receive medals also.
“Receiving this medal today gives our kids an opportunity to push life forward and to have a positive thinking.”
If she could talk to her husband now, what would she say?
Marcano, gushed emotionally, “Never leave the house. Never go anywhere.”
She reflected that next month will be the first anniversary of her husband’s death.
“I don’t want that day to come. To know I can’t celebrate that day because that’s the day I lost him. It’s really hard.”
Asked if her husband would have had it any other way on that fateful day, she replied, “To save lives, that is it. So, going back, he would have done it.
“He would have done it because it was my niece, it was my brother, it was my sister-in-law. So you know he would have done it. What he did, he would have done it.”