He was awarded as the most decorated firefighter by President Carter in 1977. He received the American Character Award in Washington DC presented by Dr. Normon Vincent Peale, Rand V. Araskog, President and Chief Executive of International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, honored by President Reagan in 1982. He was presented the award and a banquet in the Senate Caucus Room, Russell Senate Office Building attended by Congress and the House of Representatives. This award was given for saving 37 lives in his career, Arson Juvenile Programs and contribution to society.
Some of his Awards & Recognition's include:
1958-61: United States Navy Honorable discharge: Vietnam Commemorative Medal, Cold War Commemorative Service, Certificate of Recognition from the Secretary of Defense.
1961: Cliffside Park Fire Department - Medal of Valor
1961: New York, New Jersey Fireman's Association - Medal of Valor
1961: FMBA - Hero's Citation
1962: State of New Jersey - Valor Award presented by the Governor
1963: Matawan Township Fire Department - Hero's Award
1977: Presidential Commendation - President Jimmy Carter
1978: Plantation Fire Department - Meritorious Service Citation
1977: Lifesaving Commendation - City of Pompano Beach, Fl.
1982: American Charater Award - Presented in Washington D.D. by President Ronald Reagan
1984: Hackensack Fire Department - Certificate of Award
1985: London Fire Brigade - Plaque for service
1994: Key to the City and Special Proclamation - City of New Orleans
2002: American Legion Service Award
2003: Volunteer of Year Award - West Palm Beach Fire Rescue
Peter Vallas has always followed his dreams and has never given up. He wanted to be a professional artist; he became one. He wanted to become a writer; he published several books. He wanted to be an actor; he acted in the movie Exit and , at one time, was working on his own movie. And in his memoir, The Fire Within, Vallas shares his life story that speaks of these successes and also of his hard work, perseverance, and determination.
Acknowledging both the joys and the sorrows, Vallas discusses the hard times of poverty, making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes. But he also writes about the many accomplishments of his life including forty-eight years in fire service-from firefighter to lieutenant to captain and fire marshal. Credited with saving forty-two lives in his storied career, Vallas has been decorated by two presidents and received an award from the American Character Awards.
Including detailed accounts, The Fire Within is filled with bittersweet remembrances of his family and dreams-a chronology of events from boyhood to the present, turning his dreams into reality along the way. He grew up with nothing and became something.
But now those dreams have faded due to a tragic stroke that nearly took his life. He was saved by those he served alongside as a Volunteer Special Fire Investigator since 2003 conducting hundreds of fire investigations and investigation classes after his retirement from his investigation firm. He, however, has lost his retirement funding due to an unforeseen and unfortunate business situation, he has medical expenses due to his stroke and recovery, he can no longer afford his mortgage payments anymore and may lose his house that he shares with his frail wife; whom now must take care of him. Although he desperately want to be employed and continue working, to make ends meet, his medical conditions have left him unable to do so.
Peter Vallas is a true hero, serving his life to help others. He has always been there for those in need at the worst events in their lives and doing all he can to assist and aid.
Peter Vallas now needs help. This is the worst time in his life. He can not take care of his wife and he will lose his home.
Would you please consider donating what you can to help him in his time of need.
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