A frantic scene played out on TV screens around the D.C. area: A woman thrown from her kayak clung to a tree in frigid Potomac waters near Violets Lock on April 18. No one would have known she was there had it not been for Lee Kiang.
Kiang and a number of local heroes were honored Thursday for their quick actions to save lives.
Kiang exercises in the park every day. He called 911 and directed Montgomery County firefighters to the stranded kayaker's location.
“We could see her and she could see us,” Kiang said. He encouraged the woman that help was on the way.
“I just a feel that I don't deserve it,” Kiang said.
Two other lifesavers are Robert Gross and Harry Beker. The two neighbors kicked down a door and rescued an elderly couple from their burning Potomac home on March 20th.
Gross used his sweatshirt to douse the flames. Through thick smoke, Beker saw the woman on the staircase, as was able to reach her.
Lucky best describes the truck route Jason Meyer took in February. He left for work earlier than usual, had the wrong directions and happened to come across a car engulfed in flames on Shady Grove Road. He helped pull the driver from the wreckage.
"I would want to someone to do it for me,” Meyer said.
The men all said the real heroes were firefighters
"When they showed up, these young kids 18, 24, 25 years old, they donned their masks... and they ran into the fire. It was an incredible sight,” said Gross.