It was a cold January night, and one woman at the high-rise on School Street in Everett was despondent, sad and ready to end her life.
Firefighters Joseph Quinn and Rocco Andreotti weren’t about to let that happen.
As the woman sat on the ledge of the 11th floor threatening to jump, the two firefighters observed her from the ground as they arrived and wasted no time in getting to the roof.
The woman was reportedly crying and quite ready to jump.
However, Firefighter Quinn carefully approached her, talking calmly, and placed his arms around her so that she couldn’t jump.
Andreotti moved in to help calm the woman and pacify her.
Together, the two jakes were able to wrap their arms around the woman and remove her from danger.
For that, on Tuesday morning at the JFK Library in Dorchester, they were both awarded one of this year’s 10 state Meritorious Conduct Awards.
The awards came during the 25th Annual Firefighter of the Year Heroic Awards – an annual ceremony honoring above-and-beyond deeds performed by firefighters across the state.
“There is something special about a person drawn to this profession,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan. “We talk a lot about heroes in our profession and being a hero is doing the right thing, at the right time and in the right place.”
Gov. Deval Patrick noted that many of the acts of heroism singled out at the awards happened while off-duty.
“Many of those we’re honoring today were off-duty when these incidents happened,” said Patrick. “For a firefighter, I’m not sure if there’s any such thing as off-duty.”
The ceremonies in Dorchester brought a huge contingent of Everett folks, including family members, fellow firefighters, Chief David Butler and Mayor Carlo DeMaria.