2016 has been a roller coaster of a year! We've found some of the biggest heroes from our area that made the news this year. Here are their stories...
Lifeguards Come to a Young Man's Rescue
Rome, New York
A young man was injured and fell to the bottom of the YMCA pool in Rome. It seemed like everyone started to panic except for two lifeguards - These young professionals jumped in, saved the child, and were able to stabilize the kid until paramedics arrived. They may have been just doing their job, but they were able to save a young life thanks to quick thinking and their training. You can read the whole article here.
Hero Saves Lives During Orlando Night Club Shooting
Schenectady County, New York
This isn't really Central New York, but this was such a national tragedy this guy's ties to Schenectady County deserve to be mentioned. Imran Yousuf is a 2010 graduate of Niskayuna High School in Schenectady County, and he was also a bouncer at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando during that awful mass shooting. Yousuf was able to get a back door to the nightclub opened and get people out of the building while everything was going down. Yousuf risked his life to save dozens of people's lives that night. You can watch his powerful interview with CBS below:
Man Helps Teen After Accident
New Hartford, New York
A teen was driving up Tibbitts Road in New Hartfordwhen she lost control of her vehicle and ended up in the ditch. The teen was trapped in her car because the door was jammed from the damage. An anonymous man reached into her vehicle and was able to pull her out, but she never found out who the man was. He helped her out and then just left. You can get the full story here.
Man Builds Ramp for Handicapped Boy
Utica, New York
Kevin Hyde of Utica built a handicap ramp for a little boy he met, who has Dandy Walker Syndrome. Hyde picked up the materials and built the ramp without any help and with no charges to the family. To go out of his way and make someone's life a little easier may not seem like that big of deal to some, but to us that makes him a great inspiration - And a hero.
Officers Save Deer
Rome, New York
The job of a police officer is to protect and serve, but sometimes it’s not always a person they need to protect. A deer was in a backyard when the homeowners spooked it so it took off running. Unfortunately, it ran in between two bars of an iron fence and was trapped. Rome Police Officers Page, Buckley and Sypniewski helped free the deer and it was able to run off with just a few scrapes. You can read the full story, and see video of the rescue here.
Woman Gives House to Sister
Oriskany, New York
Sarah, a single mother who had recently been in a long battle with cancer, was having a hard time making ends meet. She just wanted to give her daughter a great life, but it was proving to be quite difficult. Luckily, Sarah has a wonderful, caring sister who actually gave her a house! You don't have to save someone's life to be a hero, just doing something amazing to improve the quality of life for someone else is very heroic. And we know this has improved Sarah and her daughter's life.
Teen Pulls Two Girls From Car in a Lake
Lake Mahopac, New York
Alright, technically this isn't Central New York - But it's an important, heroic story so we're including it (Lake Mahopac is about two hours south of Albany). Two girls on their way to eat, lost control of their vehicle and ended up in a lake, upside down. 19-year-old Cullen Malzo happened to be by and saw the car in the lake. He called 911 and jumped in the lake to rescue the two girls. Malzo was able to pull them out of a broken window of the vehicle. You can read the full article and see a video of the hero and one of the girls he rescued here.
Whiskers for Will
Frankfort, New York
Military Personal, Police Officers, and those who risk their lives every day are heroes - There's no doubt about that. But sometimes when they're not saving people's lives and dealing with scary situations, they are still being heroes and in this case it was Frankfort Police Officers being a hero to a teen named Will. Will was diagnosed with Leukemia and in need of a bone marrow transplant. The Frankfort Police Department took part in "Whiskers for Will" an event that turned "No Shave November" into a fundraiser for Will and his family.
Meteorologist Fights Body-Shaming Email
Syracuse, New York
Again, you don't have to save a life to be a hero - meteorologist Molly Matott showed us that sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and be your own hero. And by doing so, she became all our heroes as she proved body shaming is NOT okay. Matott received a nasty email from a viewer, picking a part her outfit and making fun of the way she looked. Matott then took to Instagram to defend herself, and not stand for being bullied through an email. You can get more details on the story here.
Officers Help Woman in Wheelchair
Rome, New York
Rome Police Officers Brian Zoeckler and Aaron Paige noticed a woman in an electric scooter with a dead battery. She was a block away from her apartment so Officer Zoeckler and Officer Paige helped push the woman home in 85 degree weather.