A New York Fire Department paramedic, originally from Limerick, has been dubbed a hero after jumping into the Hudson River to save a woman from drowning.
Niall O’Shaughnessy (38), a Long Island resident and native of County Limerick, dove into the grimy New York river on Monday morning when he noted the woman was in dire distress.
The FDNY paramedic, a veteran of ten years, told the New York Post “This was my first time I jumped in the water [for a rescue].
“I have no idea why she jumped in, my concern was to just get her out.”
O’Shaughnessy was stationed with his partner, Moses Nelson, near West and Murray Streets when they received the call, at around 7:23am. There were reports of a woman in her late 20s or 30s who had jumped into the river near Pier 25.
The paramedics were on the scene within minutes and spotted the woman holding on a life ring, thrown to her by the Parks Department authorities on the scene.
The Limerick paramedic said, “She was very tired and started to let go of it.
“My biggest concern making sure she was OK and that she didn’t submerge.”
Noticing that the woman was beginning to tire O’Shaughnessy jumped into action.
An FDNY spokesman described O’Shaughnessy’s rescue. They said, “He kicked off his boots, clipped off his radio and jumped in.
“He saw her having an incredible amount of difficulty and his brain took over. All that mattered was rescuing her.”
O’Shaughnessy got to the woman and kept her afloat until they were pulled to safety. The woman was brought to Bellevue Hospital and is now in a stable condition.
O'Shaughnessy's partner, Nelson, said, “As a Rescue Paramedic, we are trained for this. We shouldn't be considered heroes, this is our job.”
This is not the first time that O’Shaughnessy has put himself in danger for a stranger. Last July O’Shaughnessy was the heroic paramedic who jumped between subway cars to aid an Irish J-1 student who had fallen onto the tracks at the 49th Street station in Midtown.
FDNY EMS Paramedic made a great water rescue http://t.co/EsDZCKc2Ym ...with sad backless hospital gown photo attached pic.twitter.com/nfPHhXfbgs— NYC EMS Website (@NYCEMSwebsite) July 20, 2015
J-1 student Mary Downey, from Belfast, had fallen from the platform and, while only suffering a broken shoulder, was stuck under the subway train. O’Shaughnessy, along with firefighter Sean Cummins, a native of Dublin, were first responders.
A cop also on the scene joked, “What is this? An Irish reunion?”
O’Shaughnessy and the other emergency workers kept the 22-year-old student calm by talking about home.
He said “Believe it or not, we had a laugh about it underneath the train.”