At the Madison County Board of Supervisors meeting Nov. 10, 2022, two Madison County residents were recognized by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for their outstanding act of selfless heroism.
Andrew Parent and Roger Combs, both of Oneida, separately came upon the scene of an accident on Route 5 in Westmoreland. A pickup truck struck a utility pole, overturned on its roof and had a portion of the utility pole resting on the undercarriage. A fire broke out, engulfing the truck’s undercarriage, while a downed electrical wire sparked and smoldered on the ground. The 72-year-old driver, Jack H. Pylman, who was badly burned and pinned inside, screamed for help.
Parent and Combs stepped over the wire to approach the burning truck, where they worked together to free Pylman and drag him 15 feet to safety.
Despite their efforts, Pylman succumbed to his injuries a week later.
The Carnegie Hero Fund Commission was established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed by individuals in the United States and Canada; this year there are 16 recipients nationwide, including Parent and Combs.
“The bravery and courage of Andrew Parent and Roger Combs cannot be overlooked,” said Madison County Board Chairman John M. Becker. “They are true heroes and very deserving of this honor. They risked their own safety and lives to give another person a chance to survive. I am honored that we were able to present their medals to them today.”
Since its inception, there have been 10,307 Carnegie medals awarded. For more information, visit carnegiehero.org.