BOSTON (CBS) – A “truly heroic” MBTA high voltage lineman who pulled people from a burning car in February was honored with a civilian bravery award Tuesday in a 9/11 ceremony at the Massachusetts State House. Ross Dugan received the award named for flight attendant Madeline “Amy” Sweeney of Acton.

Dugan was heading home after his night shift as an MBTA high voltage lineman on Feb. 6 when he came across a car fire on Route 24 in West Bridgewater. He saw that the four people inside were trapped.

“He didn’t wait and call an emergency responder, he was the responder,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said.

Dugan was able to break into the car that was engulfed in flames and get everyone out. In doing so he suffered burns to his own hands and body.

Ross Dugan rescued four people from a burning car on Route 24 in February (WBZ-TV)

“He saved lives without regard for his own life,” Polito said. “That is truly heroic.”

Sweeney was working on Flight 11 – the hijacked plane that hit the first tower on Sept. 11, 2001. She contacted her flight’s ground services crew to tell them about the attackers before the plane hit the World Trade center.

On every anniversary of the tragic day, the award is presented to a civilian who showed the bravery she did.

“I’m incredibly humbled right now,” Dugan said. “This is a great honor, and I thank you very much.”


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