In Massachusetts, James Ahern and his nephew John “Jack” Ahern worked together as paramedics. They were on the Paramedic 3 unit with Boston Emergency Medical Services. In August of 2002, they went to an emergency call at Chinatown Station of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.
At the subway, there was a man stuck underneath a subway train. He was in his 40s with his legs and torso stuck beneath the train’s undercarriage.
There was three feet of space between the wall and the train for the men to work with. They started an IV and inserted a tube to help with his breathing.
The Boston Fire Department came to help remove the train from on top of the man. They told the two paramedics to leave the train pit for their own safety.
Saving the Patient
They decided they wanted to stay with their patient. The fire department placed jacks underneath the train and began to raise it. They only got it so far before they had to pause and wait for heavier jacks to be brought over.
The train began to shift toward James Ahern and the man, but he did not flinch. He continued to care for his patient. The fire department moved the train off of the man, and the two paramedics took him to the hospital.
A little less than a year later, in May of 2003, they were the first recipients of the Moore Medical Valor Award. They then received the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, presented to them by President Bush. Awards Received
Call of Duty
The paramedics did everything they could to save this man’s life, including risking their own in the process. They could have easily left him in the pit while the fire department raised the train, but they chose to stay with him, keeping him stable and comfortable.