2017-06-15 / Community News

‘Real Heroes’ named from Saco

The Southern Maine chapter of the American Red Cross presented seven individuals and one organization with its Real Hero awards Thursday.

“We’re honoring everyday people who do extraordinary things in service to others,” said Patricia Murtagh, CEO of the American Red Cross of Maine. “We salute these Real Heroes and recognize that they embody the spirit that is at the very heart of the American Red Cross. It’s the dedication of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors that ensures that we can be there for families when disaster strikes.”

The 2017 Southern Maine Real Heroes include Lt. Joesph Carroll and firefighter Steve Mercier of Saco who were given the Public Safety Award.

In March 2016, Carroll and Mercier of the Saco Fire Department rescued a man whose boat had capsized. The boat had started taking on water by Ram Island, but the man was able to get the motor started after some initial difficulty. On its way back, the boat was capsized by a wave by the jetty.

Carroll and Mercier didn’t have a fixed location, but their familiarity with the geography allowed them to locate the man. He had fallen in the water and had no life jacket, but was able to get onto the hull of his capsized boat. The firefighters got him into their boat, wrapped him up and brought him back to shore where ambulance workers examined him.

It’s an honor being named a Real Hero, but also “a little bit surreal,” Carroll said. “We were doing our jobs.”

Mercier agreed.

“I don’t really see it as truly being a hero,” Mercier said. “I just look at it as an opportunity to give back to my community and be able to help someone who needs help.”

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