It’s coming up on a year, but Patrick Rimoshytus thinks of Carolyn Corbett often.
On Dec. 19, 2012, Mr. Rimoshytus, a long-time volunteer firefighter in Warren, pulled Ms. Corbett, of Barrington, from her burning car at the intersection of Market Street and Schoolhouse Road. Suffering burns that put him in the hospital for two days, he never gave up, stopping only after he’d pulled her out of the fully engulfed car. Unfortunately, Ms. Corbett died two days later.
So the pride of an entire town was mixed with a bit of sadness Tuesday night as Mr. Rimoshytus appeared before the Warren Town Council Tto receive a Carnegie Medal, the highest civilian award for heroism in the United States. Given by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission in Pittsburgh, Pa., the medal is given to civilians in the United States and Canada who risk their lives saving others. Mr. Rimoshytus’s mother was in the audience as he received the medal from Douglas R. Chambers, Carnegie Hero Fund Commission director of external affairs. There, too, were his brother, friends and members of Ms. Corbett’s family.
“I’m very proud to receive this award,” an emotional Mr. Rimoshytus told the crowd. Seeing Ms. Corbett hurt so badly “was tough, it’s been tough and I wish the outcome could have been different. But I did all I could.”
Mr. Rimoshytus comes from a long line of public servants — police, firemen and nurses — and said he was raised on the belief that if you are ever presented with an opportunity to do good, despite the risk, you have to.
“It’s a belief that you have to be unselfish and, not cowardly. This (chance) was mine. I’m honored to receive this medal. I honestly hope it’s the last one I ever have to see.”
Inscribed on the reverse of the large bronze medal, which bears a likeness of Andrew Carnegie on the obverse:
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Awarded to Patrick J. Rimoshytus, who helped to rescue Carolyn Corbett from burning. Warren, RI December 19, 2012.”
Patrick Rimoshytus (right) receives a Carnegie Medal from Douglas Chambers in December 2013. Mr. Rimoshytus received the honor for pulling a woman from a burning car on Schoolhouse Road in late 2012.