Hometown hero

On a blazing hot Monday at the end of the Fourth of July weekend, amateur bicycle racer Jeff Harrison was around mile 37 of a training ride on the trails along the Trinity River in Fort Worth when he noticed a commotion at a low-water dam in Trinity Park.
A 7-year-old girl had fallen into the river where water rushes through a gap in the dam used by kayakers. A couple who were planning to adopt the child had jumped in to rescue her. A boy on the bank who couldn’t swim was raising the alarm.

Jeff Harrison at the scene of the rescue

Harrison, 37, jumped into the river to pull out the girl and the woman. The woman wasn’t breathing, so Harrison administered CPR and revived her. The cyclist was unable to reach the woman’s husband, who was swept away and drowned.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday that Harrison’s act of valor has made him one of 10 finalists for an award for a single act of heroism given annually to three selfless citizens by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, formed by recipients of the nation’s highest military decoration.
“It’s incredible. I can’t believe I’m even in the same ballpark as these men,” Harrison told the Star-Telegram.
The winners of the “Citizen Service Before Self” award will be honored March 25 at a ceremony near the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Jeff Harrison’s act of extraordinary heroism and bravery continues to be an inspiration and a credit to the state of Texas and to his fellow Americans,” says the citation on the organization’s website.

Citizen Service Before Self medal

Harrison rides for the Great Brewers Cycling team, formed in 2010 by a group of like-minded North Texans who ride together regularly and compete in USA Cycling events. He wrote a detailed account of the rescue that can be read on the team’s website.
“I had no idea when I jumped on my bike to explore the Trinity Trail that I would be writing a story like this in my life,” Harrison wrote of that fateful July 5. “This has made a major impact on my life and I just hope someone helps me if I’m in trouble.”
Check out the July 5, 2010, report of the rescue on WFAA/Channel 8 of Dallas-Fort Worth.




Filed under Americana, Cool stuff, Urban cycling

2 responses to “Hometown hero

  1. ATTENTION CYCLISTS: The Lung Cancer Research Foundation invites you to the 2011 TD Bank Five Boro Bike Tour. This is your only opportunity to cycle 42 miles through car-free streets in all five boros of New York City. The event is sold out, however we currently have 10 guaranteed entries into the race. Please email mwood@lungfund.org if you are interest in participating!!

    The Lung Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 2005 to support national research studies and activities focused on developing innovative strategies for better treatments, screening, and prevention of all cancers of the lung. This will be our first year participating as a community partner with the bike tour and in doing so, we ask that all riders raise a minimum of $1,000 to support lung cancer research.

    We hope you will join us for this great event!

  2. Saving a life is no small feat. I think the medal is well deserved!

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