Legendary Firefighters: Eddie Loder, Saved A Jumper With One Hand, Among Other Heroics

 January 17, 2022

Eddie Loder was a Boston firefighter who saved those who needed help even when the rescue itself was a little dicey. Loder joined the department in 1970 and spent the next 40 years giving it his all.

Scary Rescue

On November 14, 1987, two repairmen were working in the utility shaft of a twenty-story Boston skyscraper. They were in a 20 x 20 shaft using a motorized window washing plank.

Their cart became stuck, and the techs were stuck 100 feet from the ground. Boston firefighter Eddie Loder with Rescue One came to their aid within an hour.

He rappelled down the repair shaft, lowering himself down the dimly-lit repair shaft, saving the two men in a treacherous situation. Loder was a 40-year veteran of the Boston Fire Department and is said to be the department's most decorated firefighter.

He attached one of the men to him and rappeled down two stories. For his efforts, he received a Roll of Merit citation.

Saving Lives

In May of 1990, a woman in her twenties locked herself in a sixteenth-floor room of the Ritz Carlton and was threatening to jump.

Firefighters tried to get in to save her, but she would scream if they opened the door. Loder decided to go in through the roof. Using only a guideline, he jumped off the roof and saved the woman's life.

In 1993. a mental patient escaped from the Boston City Hospital and threatened to jump six stories to the ground. Loder went up in the bucket to get him with the ladder fully extended.

However, there were still five feet needed to reach, and Loder stood on the last rung. Finally, he told him a joke to distract him, but the man jumped. Loder caught him with one hand.

Loder yelled to be lowered down, but the operator swung the arm instead, slamming Loder into the building, still holding onto the man. Eventually, they were lowered to the ground.

Service Honored

Many of Loder's other rescues were just as harrowing, including a nine-alarm fire in 1994. The fire almost took his life. In 1998, he went into a freezing river to save a jumper.

Loder received medals for Roll of Merit in 1987, 1993,1998, and 2001. He also was presented with the Walter Scott Medal of Valor in 1990. He was still working in 2012.

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