Four Locals Receive Hero Awards

By James Gardner
|  Thursday, Apr 15, 2010  |  Updated 7:45 AM EDT
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Four Locals Receive Hero Awards

Carnegie Hero Fund

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Random acts of heroism are sometimes few and far between, but those acts are still being found and honored.

This year, 22 people across the U.S. and Canada will receive the Carnegie Medal. Four men from New York’s surrounding area are on the list.

Rory Ahearn from Danbury, Conn., is being honored for saving the life of Erik Lageroos. Lageroos, 26, was cross country skiing on Candlewood Lake on January 11, when he fell through the ice. Ahearn, 57, lives nearby and quickly reported the incident and tried helped Lageroos to safety.

When they were about 100 feet from shore, both fell through the ice. Ahearn managed to get back on the ice, soon after firefighters arrived and pulled in both men. Both Ahearn and Lageroos were treated for hypothermia.

Michael J. Hickey, 35, from Patchogue pulled two people from a burning van in Queens on July 12, 2006. Hickey, a truck driver was the first on the scene of the fiery crash. Despite the flames, Hickey pulled 44-year-old Karl Hawkins and 60-year-old Jean Hastic to safety. Hickey tried to rescue more people from the flames, but five passengers perished in the wreck.

Long Island natives Thomas J. Conners and Eric Surbito will also be awarded the Carnegie Medal.Conners, 52, and Surbito, 28, rescued 74-year old Alice Benedict from a burning convent on Port Jefferson on January 11.The two worked as security guards at a hospital where the convent is located.

The total number of people receiving the Carnegie Medal now stands at 9,349. Each of the awardees, or their next of kin will also receive a financial grant.

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