The Hero Among Us


Courtesy of Gabe Vivoni

Senior Gabe Vivoni is recognized by the Mansfield City Council for his heroic actions.

In less than thirty minutes, a small flame can turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to engulf a house. However, a light was seen from that darkness, when senior, Gabriel Vivoni risked his own life to save an innocent life.

Vivoni was having a normal casual day. He was going to his home after having a successful swim practice with his teammates.

“The day of the accident was a pretty chill day, I didn’t do much besides having a very good swim practice where my coach was proud of me. I didn’t think my afternoon was going to end up like it did, but it’s how life works sometimes,” said Vivoni.

Vivoni remembers his first thought being how to stop the fire and how to contact the family of the house. He dialed 911 and immediately went into the burning house to find anyone who was possibly still inside before the fire got in worse than it already was.

“My first thoughts were how to put it out and where the family was. I had to call 911 immediately. I didn’t even know if anyone was even in the house. I don’t know what drove me into the house, I just felt like I had to and it was my instinct,” said Vivoni.

Vivoni had many people worried about his safety, including his significant other, junior, Meghan McConnell. McConnell said she was concerned and terrified when she found out about the accident. She didn’t know if Vivoni was in good condition but when she got in contact with him, she told him she was proud of what he had done for another person.

“When I heard, I was really scared because I didn’t know if Gabe or his family was okay, but when I found out from Gabe, I was beyond proud. He texted me and then told me more about it before class started at school,” said McConnell.

McConnell also said that she was in shock of how dangerous the situation was. She states that being compassionate and unafraid is simply part of Vivoni’s personality. McConnell couldn’t be more happy and delighted for him.

“I was surprised just because of how dangerous it was, but in general I would say that it really does encompass as a part of his personality. He truly is selfless and brave on a daily basis, I’m honestly just proud of him. He deserves the title and rightfully earned it. It’s an honor to call him mine,” said McConnell.

Vivioni’s twin brother, senior, Will Vivoni, says he wasn’t as surprised as everyone else was because he believes his brother would do that for another human being, no matter who it is or what the situation would be. His brother was already a hero in his eyes.

“I wasn’t that surprised. I know my brother, I mean he’s my twin. I know that he’s such a good and genuine person. In my opinion he was already a hero. My family and I are more than happy he’s okay and that he’s still with us. I hope he knows that I’m proud of him, grateful for him, and that he has done something incredible and very life changing,” said Will Vivioni.

Gabriel Vivoni was honored from the Mansfield Fire Department and received the Citizens Meritorious Award for his life saving accomplishment. Vivoni said he felt incredible receiving the award and felt like it was an amazing moment that he will cherish for as long as he lives.

“The award definitely felt awesome, with my family and friends there supporting me. It was a truly great moment to shake the mayor’s hand and the fire department chief’s hand. It made me feel like I really did something in life and this is definitely something I will never forget,” said Vivoni.