04/10/2011 12:43 pm ET Updated Jun 10, 2011

Timothy McCarthy Earns Carnegie Medal For Heroic Act, Vows To Become Firefighter

NBC Action News reports that one man earned a Carnegie Medal for an act of heroism in his community. The life-changing act has since encouraged him to pursue a more selfless line of work.

In Overland Park, Kansas, Timothy McCarthy saved a life when he pulled a driver from a fiery car crash in 2010.

He didn't think twice when he pulled the crash victim from the burning car, however once McCarthy's friends and fellow community members commented on his quick response in an emergency situation, he had an idea. He told NBC:

"Like a light bulb came on I'm like 'hey, I think being a firefighter is... your calling.' You know I think this has pointed me in the right direction."

Soon, he started studying up to become a firefighter. But bills and other constraints kept him from realizing his dream -- until he received his Carnegie Medal in the mail.


A Carnegie Medal is awarded to those that have performed heroic acts in civilian life. During its 106-year history, over 80,000 people have been nominated, yet only 9,000 people have been selected.

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