AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – An Agawam police officer is being awarded the Carnegie Medal for risking his life to rescue a woman from a burning apartment on March 20, 2018.

According to a news release sent to 22News, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission announced Monday that 15 people will receive medals and will be named Carnegie heroes for rescuing others while putting themselves in danger. The Carnegie Medal is considered the highest honor for civilian heroism in the U.S. and Canada.

On March 20, 2018, Agawam Police Officer Christopher Lanski went into a burning second-floor apartment where neighbors said a 56-year-old woman was trapped inside. Lanski broke down the door and after moving through heavy smoke finally found the woman on the floor. He then crawled under the smoke and dragged her to the door. Another officer met him and both of them dragged her down the stairs and outside to safety. She was then taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and burns. Lanski suffered smoke exposure but recovered.

The following people have died in their rescue attempts and will be awarded the Medal posthumously:

  • Isiah Jamal Pierce, 27, re-entered his burning home to save his partner’s baby
  • Marcos Gil, 17, drowned after pushing a girl out of a circular current
  • Yolanda Robinson Isom, re-entered her burning home for her three sons still inside
  • Robert Todd Riddle, drowned after entering rough water in order to save a man who was floundering

The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an
extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others. A total of 10,168 Carnegie Medals have been awarded since the fund’s start in 1904.

The following people will be awarded the Carnegie Medal:

  • Scott Ullom – Dallas, West Virginia
  • Justice Michael McBain – Sturtevant, Wisconsin
  • Zachary A. McDowell – Prosperity, Pennsylvania
  • Scott Cooper – Ocala, Florida
  • Isiah Jamal Pierce – Laurel, Mississippi
  • Jeffrey Garrett – Elk Grove, California
  • Christopher Lanski – Agawam, Massachusetts
  • Robert Todd Riddle -Deer Park, Texas
  • Marcos Gil – Arimo, Idaho
  • Ross Dugan – Fairhaven, Massachusetts
  • Yolanda Robinson Isom – Rock Hill, South Carolina
  • Winston S. Douglas – Hapeville, Georgia
  • Grant A. Goffinet – Jasper, Indiana
  • Michael Dunn – Waterford, Connecticut
  • Brent D. Duncan – Jasper, Indiana