Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Everyday Heroes #3

Last month the Everyday Heroes segment focused on a retiring policeman in Michigan's Thumb.  This time I did the smart thing and went to the Huffington Post "Good News" section, which is really what I should do all the time.  So this time around we have a heroic firefighter in Philly named Fran Cheney.  Not only did he save a woman's life in a pretty superheroic fashion, he also gave the overtime pay he earned from it to the woman's family.  His reward?  The fire department is investigating him for taking off his oxygen mask to give to the lady.  Stay classy, Philadelphia fire department administrators.

Here's the full story, but if you go to the Huff Po you can watch a video too.  Anyway, despite what the administrators may think, I think this guy deserves to be an Everyday Hero, don't you?

A Philadelphia firefighter became a hero twice over when he rescued a woman from a house fire on Wednesday.

As his fellow firefighters battled the flames, Fran Cheney rushed to the second floor of the burning house to rescue Mary Jackson, who was trapped in an upstairs bedroom.

According to Fox News Philadelphia, the woman was choking on smoke and struggling to breathe, so Cheney removed his own air mask, put it on her face and carried her to safety, risking his own life in the process.

"If I was worried about that, I wouldn't be here, and neither would any of these guys that I work with," Cheney told Fox. "That's what we do. That's who we are."

But his heroic actions didn't stop there. Fox Philadelphia reports Cheney donated the $500 of overtime pay he received to Jackson's family to help them "get back on their feet," he said.

However, Cheney's actions during the rescue drew criticism from fire department officials.

Although he escaped the blaze uninjured, Cheney was treated for smoke inhalation at Temple University Hospital and spent the night there. During his stay, a department administrator paid him a visit and chided him for taking off his oxygen mask.

According to Fox Philadelphia, "the fire department will investigate to determine if proper procedures were followed when Cheney put his mask on a victim."

Cheney said that given the chance, he'd risk his life again. And it wouldn't be the first time. Cheney narrowly escaped a 5-alarm warehouse fire in April that claimed the lives of two other firefighters.

As KNUE pointed out, this is the second time this week that a person described by some as a hero was criticized for going above and beyond the call of duty. In Florida, a lifeguard was recently fired for saving a woman from drowning because the rescue took place outside the zone he was supposed to monitor.


I keep offering you people the chance to nominate an Everyday Hero of your own.  I mean there are plenty of ways to contact me:  Email, Twitter, and Facebook for starters.  Maybe someone will finally take me up on it.  I can dream...

Tomorrow, in preparation of the new Batman movie, I review some recent Batman comics.  If you want to get up to speed, read my review of Batman:  The Court of Owls first...


  1. I nominate the guy that caught the girl who was dancing on the third story air conditioner and fell. It was all over the news yesterday.

  2. My husband twice did the humanitarian thing and stopped his train (as conductor & later engineer for two emergency situations). He was reamed out by his managers at the rail office for wasting company time. Funny that wasn't what the firemen or the policemen on location thought.

    Sometimes business practices get in the way of a clear thinking brain. (In one situation, a guy's life was saved.)

    Bravo to that fireman, and shame on the department for questioning an act of valor. It's not all about procedures.

  3. Amazing how the world comes against average people doing extraordinary things. Props to the Philly fireman who is a true hero!

  4. That fireman deserves a medal, not criticism. Same with the lifeguard. I wish I could think of someone deserving of this accolade. I'll keep thinking....

  5. You could nominate the admin folks as Heroes too - the folks that make policy are the real heroes here.

    Seriously, that's ridiculous.

  6. What an amazing guy. I understand they have to keep their firefighters safe by following procedures, but they can just leave that investigation alone. Plus, he gave money!

  7. Sometimes heroic people have to go beyond the rules. God bless him.

  8. That fireman is the epitome of selfless acts of true heroism. The guy is a true superhero.
    Hopefully, my son who needs a break, will let me take him to the new Batman movie.
    Take care, dude.

  9. Totally agree, he's a good person, a true hero, and deserved our gratitude, not to be reamed by his superiors. Can't they look past rules and see things on a case-by-case basis?


  10. Ain't bureaucracy beautiful? I suppose policies exist for a reason but at some point, even boneheaded administrators need to acknowledge when someone did the right thing - the human thing.



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