Hero Bicyclist Is Finalist for National Honor

Man who rescued two from drowning in Trinity River says nomination is "incredible"

By Scott Gordon
|  Wednesday, Mar 9, 2011  |  Updated 10:49 PM CDT
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A <a title=Fort Worth bicyclist who jumped into the Trinity River to save a drowning woman and 7-year-old girl in July is a finalist for a prestigious national award." />

Scott Gordon, NBCDFW.com

A Fort Worth bicyclist who jumped into the Trinity River to save a drowning woman and 7-year-old girl in July is a finalist for a prestigious national award.

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A Fort Worth bicyclist who jumped into the Trinity River to save a drowning woman and 7-year-old girl in July is a finalist for a prestigious national award.

Jeff Harrison was at the end of a long ride when he stopped in Trinity Park and noticed the drama unfolding in front of him.

“It was really quick,” he said. “I mean, it was very quick.”

He dragged the girl to safety, and then pulled out the woman and gave her CPR, saving her life, too.

He said he is still frustrated that he couldn't also help her husband.

"It was just the whole fact of actually seeing the father go under, and he was like, right there," Harrison said.

He recently learned he is one of 20 finalists to receive a national award by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. It’s awarded to civilians by a panel of recipients of the nation's highest military honor -- the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Fort Worth Fire Department nominated him for the award.

Harrison said he feels humbled.

"The only word that keeps coming back to my mind is, it's incredible -- incredible, amazing,” he said.

Harrison has kept in touch with the family.

He even spoke at the funeral of the man he couldn't save.

"And when I walked up there, they gave me a standing ovation,” he said. “At a funeral -- which I've never even heard of that. That was pretty powerful in itself."

Just as powerful, he said, was a trophy the couple's 8-year-old son gave him.

It simply reads: "Thank you for saving my mom."

"It was hard enough to hear him say it because he had said it before, and that was enough,” Harrison said. “He didn't need to do the trophy and go that far, but, I mean, it's just incredible."


Previous Coverage: Man Drowns Trying to Save Daughter

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