Carnegie Medal presentation to Daniel Franz

New York Environmental Conservation Officer Daniel Franz holds the Carnegie Medal that was presented to him during a Carmel, New York, town meeting held July 5. Pictured from left are U.S. Rep. Michael Lawler, Franz, and Supervisor Michael Cazzari.

On the scene of an April 7, 2022, one-vehicle accident, Franz, 31, of Mahopac, New York, fully entered a burning SUV, grasped the dazed driver under his arms and pulled multiple times to free the driver’s trapped foot. Eventually the driver came loose and Franz dragged him across the center console and out the front, passenger door.

“So often in our daily lives we hear of incidents where tragedy ensues, but we don’t always hear of the great work that the men and women in law enforcement do every day to protect, to defend, to ensure the safety and well-being of our residents,” Lawler said during the award presentation. “This is but one example of hundreds that are performed daily in the Hudson Valley. We are especially grateful today for Officer Franz and the work that he did—quick to act to save a life and ensure his well-being.”

Franz said the fire in the SUV grew and spread quickly. 

“A mere seconds later the flames are like 15 feet high,” he said according to a July 15 article in Tap Into Mahopac.

Franz said the attention he’s received for the act is “surreal.”

“I really didn’t think about it till the next morning,” he said. “I have received so many awards and accolades for a split-second act. The support has been overwhelming.”

Fellow conservation officers Aric Boyes and Murel Erik Lovgren and Council members Bob Schanil, Frank Lombardi, Suzi McDonough, and Stephen Baranowski also attended the ceremony.