Carnegie hero donates grant money to the dogs


Andrew Parent
Carnegie Hero Andrew Parent, his wife Ann, and their dog Charm pose in front of Andy’s Tow Service truck. Tow truck owner Parent recently donated $5,000 to the city of Oneida, New York, to be put toward a dog park in its Fourth Ward.


By Roger Seibert / Oneida Dispatch

Local tow truck owner Andrew Parent recently received a $5,500 grant from the Carnegie Hero Fund for a burning vehicle rescue that he and fellow Oneida, New York, resident Roger Combs made in 2021, attempting to save truck driver Jack Pylman of Utica, New York.

That money has gone to the dogs.

Andrew Parent
Andrew Parent’s dog Charm, a Goldendoodle, visited the site of the future dog park with Parent. ‘She ran around, played, then laid down to take a nap,” he said.

Parent said with his award money he made a $5,000 contribution to a dog park that will be built in Oneida’s Fourth Ward.

“I know of a bank in Oneida that gave ten thousand dollars, and I also wanted to help,” he said.

Parent’s business is located in the Fourth Ward.

Parent said he hopes his contribution will be an example to Oneida’s other business owners.

“We should support the city, and by that, I mean doing more than just paying taxes,” he said. “Of course, I understand that times are tough and not everyone can give.”

The project is one of many the city has undertaken in an effort to renew its downtown business district.

“I know the dog park has been a struggle to complete. They’ve been talking about it for literal decades,” said Parent. “When I contacted my councilwoman to ask how I could help, she said the project was exactly $5,000 short, so it worked out.” Parent owns a Goldendoodle named Charm, who also approved of the donation.

“When I went to meet an official involved in the project at the site, I had my dog with me then, and she ran around, played, and then laid down to take a nap,” Parent said, laughing.

Parent, a former paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, and Combs are two of 16 recipients of the Carnegie Medal for the second quarter of 2022. The medal is provided through the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and is North America’s highest honor for civilian bravery.

The medal is given to those who risk their lives saving or attempting to save someone in danger. About 20 percent of its recipients have died during their acts of heroism. It is awarded four times  a year, and the acts of courage must be able to be verified.

The award includes $5,500 as a gift, the majority of which Parent donated to the dog park.

On June 21, 2021, Pylman, 73, was driving his truck along Route 5 towards New Hartford. For unknown reasons Pylman’s truck left the road and struck a utility pole. The pole fell and scattered live wires along the road. Pylman’s truck overturned and caught fire. He was trapped beneath it.

Combs, 74, a retired information specialist who also lives in Oneida, braved the fallen wires and helped Parent get a hold of Pylman. They dragged him away from the fire to safety.

“I could not have rescued Jack without the help of Roger Combs,” Parent said. Pylman was airlifted from St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica to SUNY Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse. He died there seven days later.

“I am very humbled to have received this award,” Parent told the Dispatch in a previous interview. “People have died earning this award.”

Parent said he and Charm are looking forward to being there for opening day of the dog park slated for the end of the summer.