Fairhaven Man Awarded the Carnegie Medal for Act of Heroism
According to a recent press release, Ross Dugan of Fairhaven was honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission. Established in 1904 by Andrew Carnegie, the “Commission was created to recognize outstanding acts of selfless heroism performed in the United States and Canada. The Commission awards the CARNEGIE MEDAL to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.” The Carnegie Medal is considered the highest civilian honor in the U.S.
Dugan’s story is truly incredible. There was a multi-vehicle highway crash in West Bridgewater on February 6, 2019. “The driver of a sedan, 45, and his three passengers, 27, 36, and 46, remained inside the car as fire broke out at the sedan’s rear. Ross Dugan, 38, MBTA lineman of Fairhaven, Mass., responded to the scene. Unable to open the car’s doors, he broke out the front passenger window. Extending his head and arms through the window opening, Dugan grasped the front passenger under his arms and pulled him free of the vehicle. The driver and one of the back-seat passengers moved to the window and Dugan removed them one by one. Flames by then had entered the back-seat area, and Dugan retreated for air. As another man discharged a fire extinguisher into the sedan’s rear interior, Dugan yelled at the 46-year-old passenger in the back to come to the front window. The passenger moved to the front, passenger seat, and Dugan and the other man each grabbed an arm and pulled him from the vehicle. Flames quickly grew to engulf the interior of the vehicle. The 46-year-old passenger, who suffered severe burns, was transported to the hospital, as were the other passengers and driver. Dugan suffered burns to his hand and face, and also received hospital treatment. He recovered.”
Reading this story, you’d think it was something out of an action film starring Mark Wahlberg. But it was real life and Dugan is the hero. He deserves every ounce of recognition for his valiant actions and we're proud to say he’s from the SouthCoast.