By Katie Brace

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – In the midst of finals, grad student Dennis Magnasco was put to the test. “I am working on my last paper right now,” Magnasco said. “I heard a loud crash behind me, and I saw the scissor lift where he was on had fallen.”

A 51-year-old man was cleaning windows at the Charles Hotel and fell about 30 feet. Of all the people walking by, it’s a good thing Dennis was one of them.

“He was hurt pretty bad. He was unconscious. He kind of had labored breathing,” said Magnasco, who spent nine years serving as combat Army medic, serving in places like Afghanistan.

His training kicked in and he helped stop the man’s bleeding and kept his airway open until paramedics arrived.

Dennis Magnasco (WBZ-TV)

“It made me remember what it was like being a medic and serving in the Army,” said Magnasco.

We went back to where the accident happened on Thursday afternoon, the man’s tools still sit on the ledge of the Charles Hotel.

“There were a couple of other people on the path, and I asked someone to call 911, and I asked someone to go inside and talk to security here,” said Magnasco. “It made studying for finals pretty trivial.”

A window washer was injured in a fall at the Charles Hotel (WBZ-TV)

Dennis attends Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government where his last final is for the class “The Art and Adventures of Public Leadership.” His quick thinking and leadership here already put him above the grade.

Cambridge Police say the man is recovering well after initially sustaining serious head injuries.

Katie Brace