Carnegie Medal presentation to Sean Patrick Kalletta

Suffolk police officer Sean Patrick Kalletta was presented with the Carnegie Medal for Heroism on Feb. 22 by Suffolk County Executive Edward P. Romaine and acting Commissioner Rob Waring at a presentation held at the H Lee Dennison building in Hauppauge, NY. Pictured, from left, is Waring, Kalletta, and Romaine.

Kalletta was awarded the medal after he saved a couple from burning in Selden, New York, on Jan. 2, 2021. Debra and Robert Baker were inside their smoke-filled kitchen after a fire broke out in front of their garage and spread to its roof and a vehicle. The couple attempted to usher their two dogs through the kitchen door into the backyard, but the dogs were frightened and resisted. Kalletta, 26, responded to the scene. Kalletta entered the home through the front door, running through smoke, to the kitchen. Kalletta told the Bakers that they needed to leave the house immediately. Debra took one dog and exited through the kitchen door into the backyard, but Robert refused to leave without the other dog. Kalletta reached down to grasp the dog and it bit him on the hand. Smoke intensified and it became difficult to breathe. Flames were spreading toward the kitchen. Kalletta finally pushed Robert out through the kitchen door and another officer assisted the Bakers and one of the dogs over the fence to safety. The second dog was later removed from the house and survived. The Bakers inhaled smoke, but they recovered the next day. Kalletta was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation and the dog bite. He recovered in a week.

The Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association posted on their Instagram to congratulate Officer Kalletta on the reception of his medal and their pride for his heroic actions.

“We are incredibly proud of Officer Kalletta, and it is an honor to call you one of Suffolk’s Finest!”