Service of Heroes

June 6th, 2016

Categories: Bravery, Hero

George Washington Bridge

George Washington Bridge

We can hope that one of these strangers—or others just like them—are around should we need them.

East River Rescue

Early last Wednesday morning, three joggers jumped in the East River on 10th Street to save a suicidal man. David Blauzvern, a 23 year old investment banker and former lifeguard was first, wrote Chelsia Rose Marcus and Thomas Tracy in The Daily News. “Blauzvern was joined by two other joggers, 29-year-old John Green and off-duty NYPD Capt. Gary Messina, of the Midtown South Detective Squad.”

Jogger rescue. Photo: NY Daily News

Jogger rescue. Photo: NY Daily News

According to the reporters, Messina said, “This is my job, this is what I’m trained to do, but these guys did it out of the goodness of their hearts. These two gentlemen that jumped in were the actual real heroes.”

The reporters wrote: “Their actions were a welcome change from those taken by straphangers on a Brooklyn-bound N train on May 20, when no one did anything to help 33-year-old Efrain Guaman after he was stabbed in the gut for his iPhone — something Blauzvern fails to understand.”

Bridge Rescue

A few days before, “Police stop man from jumping off George Washington Bridge,” was the headline for the article Spencer Kent wrote for NJ.com. Three Port authority officers– Vincent Zappulla, Ed Berdeccia and Mark Kopcynski–stopped the 32 year old man who was in the middle of the bridge sitting on a railing on the river side. They successfully struggled with him, pulling him to the walkway.

Subway Rescue

Subway 6 trainAlso in May, NBC NY described a harrowing incident where a fearless 19 year old, Nicholas Buxton, saved the life of a man in his 30s who appeared to be ill and fell onto the subway tracks. It was at 8 pm on the No. 6 train at Canal/Lafayette.

The man was too heavy to lift–Buxton tried several times, urged on by a bystander, Luis Figueroa–so he tucked him under the track, under the platform. Figueroa, seeing the oncoming train, yelled at Buxton, “Dude, you gotta get up, the train’s about to arrive,” according to the NBC report. Figueroa pulled Buxton up just in time. NBC also wrote in its online coverage, “The man on the tracks was taken to Bellevue Hospital with a broken arm, according to the FDNY. It’s not clear why he fell.”

What makes some people disregard their own safety and volunteer, or take jobs, to rescue others in distress while others–such as those on the N train after a man was stabbed–take no steps to help? Have you witnessed or read about similar acts of bravery in everyday life?

NYPD and NYFD

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4 Responses to “Service of Heroes”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    An advanced degree in psychiatry is needed to fully explain the motivation behind heroic acts. In some known cases, s person acts to rescue before realizing the peril(s) involved, while others carry out existing duties, such as would an off duty fire or policeman. That’s about as far as an untutored mind can go.

  2. hb Said:

    What makes a lifesaver do what he does? I really don’t know.

    However, I’ve found that there is no apparent rhyme, nor reason nor pattern to the many times over my lifetime to the type of people who have come to my rescue. In old age the trend continues. Every time I’m about opine that it is the Orientals, or white people over forty, who help you when you stumble and fall on a subway step, it turns out to be the young black man in baggy clothing who picked you up when you fell. You just can’t tell. All I can say is that I’m grateful to all who have helped me.

    I’m not sure it is just a question of bravery. I’ve been in coup d’états where I looked out to watch jet fighter bombers swooping down over my hotel room window to blast the presidential palace a block away into rubble. I didn’t feel excessively scared, but neither did I think to comfort any of my fellow hotel guests who may have been more frightened than I.

    On the other hand, when a lady of a certain age tripped on a nearby sidewalk the other day and fell into my feeble arms, I regained my balance, held her firmly and reassured her until she had regained her composure, then collected her pocket book and when she was stable enough, let her go.

    Maybe everybody has a bravery or generosity bump, but some of us have been parented to use it more freely than the rest of us.

  3. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    Eons ago I was waiting for the train on an upstairs subway platform in the Bronx on a weekday afternoon. The subway attendant was downstairs and the platform empty. A nut was the next person to come and he sat next to me. Then a teenage girl. [I was in my early 20s.] I had my package on my lap and was reading a book ignoring the crazy man and not responding to his inappropriate questions. The girl, around 18, sat on my other side, realized what was going on and hollered at him something fierce, telling him to get lost. He moved away and did I thank her and made sure, when the train came, that I saw what car he entered and hot tailed it to a different one. I will never forget her.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    hb,

    My father was the type of person to help others as you did that woman. He came upon a scene in which two of his fellow tenants looked shocked as a young man/stranger rushed past them and him in the hallway of his apartment building. Something told him that they had just been held up, which, indeed they had been. I don’t recall if they said anything. He grabbed the young man, some 40 years his junior, and the fellow was able to get out of his hold [breaking one of dad’s fingers] and race away. The man could have had a knife or a gun but my dad wasn’t the type to worry about such details. He is one of my heroes.

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