From left, Agawam (Massachusetts) Mayor William P. Sapelli congratulates Christopher Lanski on receiving the Carnegie Medal while Officer Lanski’s chief, Eric Gillis, waits to do the same. The quiet ceremony was held Aug. 16, 2021, at the Agawam Senior Center.
On March 20, 2018, Lanski responded to a burning two-story home in which a 56-year-old woman was trapped in a second-floor apartment. Lanski entered the home and went to her apartment door. Finding it locked, he kicked it several times until it broke open. Heavy smoke filled the apartment, and Lanski retreated twice to the stairwell before returning to the doorway where he spotted the woman on the floor several feet away. He crawled under the heavy smoke to her, grasped her wrist, and dragged her to the door. Another officer met them at the top of the stairs and assisted Lanski in dragging the woman to safety. Lanski suffered smoke exposure, but he recovered.
“Thank you for all you’ve done for Agawam and continue to do,” Sapelli said, citing the extensiveness of the woman’s injuries as a testament to the conditions of the fire.