When the Texans surprised and saluted Houston Fire Department employee Christina Calderon during a private lunch and ceremony Thursday, they recognized a hero who acted fast in an emergency situation.
The veteran EMT stopped a hijacking attempt of an ambulance., preventing the potential loss of life of a patient.
The Texans, including chairman and CEO Cal McNair, vice president of the Texans' foundation, Hannah McNair, and team president Greg Grissom honored Calderon during their Tailgate for Heroes event adjacent to NRG Stadium.
The Star of Courage award given to Calderon includes a $10,000 donation in her name and recognized a first responder for "excellence in leadership, bravery and commitment to Houston."
The private lunch at Bud Light Plaza hosted 150 first responders where Calderon was surprised with the award.
On the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, the Texans are hosting Calderon and first responders from the Houston area at their season opener Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Captain Jack Wilson from the Houston Fire Department is the Homefield Advantage captain, leading the Texans out of the tunnel before kickoff.
Wilson worked on Texas Task Force 1, a FEMA Urban Search and Rescue unit that responded to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
The Texans' coin toss captains Sunday will be Houston Police Department Chief of Police Troy Skinner, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña.
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 years and has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128