Those honored at a formal, Jan. 13 ceremony honoring six Carnegie heroes stand proudly with the Carnegie Medal on stage at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts. Five police officers and a Connecticut resident were all honored for their acts of heroism performed in Worcester. From left are state police commander John Mawn; state public safety Secretary Terrance Reidy; Elvin Familia, who accepted the posthumously-awarded Carnegie Medal on behalf of his late brother Enmanuel Familia; Carnegie Hero Allen Noble Corson, Jr.; Patrick Morin, brother of Worcester police officer Scott Morin who was unable to attend the ceremony; state Trooper Amy M. Waterman; Worcester police Angela C. Consiglio and Steven Barnett; police Chief Steven Sargent, City Councilor Kate Toomey, City Manager Eric Batista, Hero Fund President Eric Zahren, and police chaplain, the Rev. Johnathan Slavinskas.
“The heroes we honor today were put to the ultimate test and put others — even strangers — first, even before their own lives and safety. Each asked themselves, in a heartbeat’s time, why not me when they were not obligated to equally share the victim’s peril,” said Zahren.
Five of those honored at the ceremony were involved in a June 4, 2021, water rescue at Green Hill Pond in Worcester. Officer Morin, fully clothed, entered the 52-degree pond first, swimming about 35 feet before grasping by the hand a 15-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl struggling to stay afloat and towing them to wadable water. Officer Familia entered the water after being alerted by others that a 14-year-old boy remained in the pond. Fully clothed, Familia entered the pond and swam nearly 60 feet toward the boy’s last known location, but he struggled and submerged. Trooper Waterman and officers Consiglio and Barnett entered the water searching for the teen and Familia. Despite diving multiple times, the trio was unable to locate them. Responding fire officials ordered all three officers out of the water. Waterman and Consiglio, nearly exhausted, exited the pond, but despite warnings, Barnett continued to search for Familia, remaining in the last known position of Familia as a marker for fire department divers. Morin, Waterman, Consiglio, and Barnett were taken to the hospital for treatment and all recovered. Familia drowned during the rescue.
In a second rescue act recognized at the ceremony, Allen Noble Corson, Jr., was dining with his parents and fiancée on July 3, 2019, when he heard screaming from inside the restaurant. He ran in the direction of the screams and saw a man attacking a 31-year-old customer. Corson confronted the assailant, wrestling and pinning him to the ground. During the scuffle, Corson was stabbed in his left side by the assailant. Two other men joined Corson in securing the assailant before police arrived and arrested him. Corson received sutures as a result of the rescue and recovered.
“It was the greatest power in the universe that drew these heroes, without hesitation, into these most extreme circumstances, without hesitation — and that power is love. Their selfless care for a stranger was the greatest exercise of that greatest power,” said Zahren.