Local man to receive national medal for heroism - New York News

Local man to receive national medal for heroism

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GAINESVILLE, Ga. -

A local hero is set to receive one of the government's highest honors.  Tray Ross will be the recipient of the Carnegie Medal for pulling a blind elderly man from a burning home.

Ross was working at a poultry plant on Nov. 21, 2011 when he saw a fire at a home across the street.  He pulled 76-year-old Harold Johnson out of the house.

"The smoke was eventually going to get me, so if it wasn't for him and God, I wouldn't be here today," said Johnson, who now lives in a nursing home in Gainesville.

Ross says the incident here has changed his life and not just because he's been recognized as a hero nationally. He said that the episode steered him in the right direction.

Ross, a high school dropout, completed his GED and is now training to become a Hall County firefighter.

"If that wouldn't have happened, it would probably still be a wish," Ross said.

The budding firefighter sees it as a life lesson to pass on to his 2-year-old son.

"I believe this milestone in my life will help me teach him to make milestones in his life," Ross said. "Make the right decisions, get on the right road, stay on the right road."

The Carnegie Medal is a national award given to about two dozen Americans who risk their lives to save others.

Ross should receive the medal – and a $5,000 award – in about two months.

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