Four Ohio Edison linemen — Devon McConnell, Ethan Cameron, Paul Martin and Andy Reece — were recently recognized by the American Red Cross for saving two women and an infant from a fire in April 2014. They were among 31 heroes honored by the American Red Cross of Summit, Portage, and Medina counties during the Annual Acts of Courage event March 5 in Akron, Ohio.
The linemen, who were at a job site in Rittman, were in a parking lot getting ready to break for lunch when they heard a woman’s voice screaming, “Fire!” They saw a woman standing on a balcony, trapped on a third floor fire escape, holding a baby in her arms. They linemen quickly positioned their bucket truck in an alley next to the apartment.
McConnell rotated the bucket through the smoke and towards the mother and her infant. "I just coaxed the infant over to me, grabbed a hold of her, sat her down in the bucket with me and then helped her mom climb down in with me," McConnell said, reported NewsNet5.
After McConnell brought the two down to safety, he heard more screaming. He maneuvered the bucket back up and plucked another woman off the fire escape.
All four men have first responder certification, as well as Red Cross First Aid and CPR training, making them “well equipped” to handle the situation, Martin said in a video interview posted on the “Acts of Courage” website. They view their actions as just another facet of their job.
“We really don’t consider ourselves heroes,” he said. “We just do what we have to do.”