America’s Biggest Heroes of the Year

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Source: Mulad / Wikimedia Commons

Shane Drossard
> Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
> Date: Aug. 3

In the first week of August, Shane Drossard of Minneapolis saved a woman who attempted suicide in the Mississippi River. The woman leapt from the Washington Avenue Bridge at 2 a.m., survived the fall into the river but got pummeled by the rapid current. Drossard, a homeless man living beneath the bridge, heard the woman’s voice and rushed to her rescue. After retrieving her from the water, he told the woman she was beautiful, that she had so much to live for, and he was not going to let go of her.

Source: Courtesy of Hastings-on-Hudson Police Force

Jessie Ferreira Cavallo
> Location: Hastings-on-Hudson, New York
> Date: Aug. 3

For Jessie Ferreira Cavallo, there is no such thing as off-duty. Cavallo, a police officer in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, was driving to work when she saw a 12-year-old boy climb over a guardrail on the Saw Mill River Parkway and tumble down onto concrete. She stopped her car, grabbed first-aid materials, and leapt down to where the boy was. Another woman helped Cavallo put the boy in a neck brace and splint, and the boy was then transported by ambulance to Westchester Medical Center.

Source: sx70 / Getty Images

Sonia Ramirez
> Location: Queens, New York
> Date: Aug. 4

Sonia Ramirez of Queens in New York City broke the fall of a 2-year-old boy, who had been dangling from the fire escape ladder outside his family’s apartment for five minutes on Aug. 4. The child attempted to ascend further up the fire escape before coming to a halt and releasing his grip. Ramirez did her best to catch the 49-pound toddler, but dropped him because of the fall’s velocity. Her efforts prevented far worse injury for the boy.

Source: Courtesy of Bogota Police Department

Michael Laferrera
> Location: Bogota, New Jersey
> Date: Aug. 12

It’s been said that rain on your wedding day is good luck. For bride Sabrina Torens and groom Connor Reilly, they’ll take Michael Laferrera as a sign of good luck. Laferrera, a Bogota, New Jersey, police officer, rescued Torens from her car after it was inundated with flood waters from a nearby brook. Laferrera stood on top of a police car as water rose to its headlights. He offered his hand to the new bride, and Torens grabbed his hand and climbed onto the police vehicle.

Source: Courtesy of Family of Chloe Carrion

Chloe Carrion
> Location: Fairfax County, Virginia
> Date: Aug. 14

Ten-year-old Chloe Carrion can take a bow for saving the life of her newborn cousin, with the help of YouTube videos. Chloe was home with her pregnant aunt. The aunt went into labor before she could get to the hospital and she gave birth to a boy in the bathroom of Chloe’s home. Her aunt handed the baby to Chloe and passed out after losing much blood. Chloe called 911. She then remembered YouTube videos she had seen about taking care of baby dolls, such as swaddling and cleaning the baby. Chloe even cut the umbilical cord, as the 911 dispatchers talked her through the procedure.