2021 Firefighter of the Year

Lieutenant Nicolette Hughes

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue

TR5, E5 and R5 responded for a structure fire at 1250 Skipper Road on April 17, 2019. This was a working fire with construction issues namely a roof over roof addition. The fire had progressed into the void between the two roofs with no access to this space. Cpt. Scott Vittoe was the Truck Captain and had tried to cut holes in the roof for access. The roof became unstable, so the Truck set up for an elevated master stream with Cpt. Vittoe in the bucket. While up in the bucket Cpt. Vittoe started experiencing chest pain. Cpt. Vittoe remained in the bucket until the fire was knocked down. When Cpt. Vittoe came down the chest pain had progressed, and he went straight to Rescue 5 where Lt. Nicolette Hughes was running rehab and recognized at once that Cpt. Vittoe was experiencing a medical emergency. She performed an EKG and found he was having a major heart attack. If not for Lt. Hughes quick actions Cpt. Vittoe would have had a much graver outcome. Lt. Hughes not only transported extremely fast but also treated aggressively and treated Cpt. Vittoe with the cyanokit for possible smoke inhalation. The Doctor at the ER said Lt. Hughes saved Cpt. Vittoe’s life.