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Heroes of the Week: Gene Pugliese and Deidre Taylor


Throughout the week, our ACC Team searches through emails and news articles looking for someone who deserves to be the Hero of the Week… Find out how you can nominate a Hero of the Week at the bottom of the page.


This week, we shine the spotlight on Gene Pugliese, a New York City firefighter who saved a four-year-old little girl from a burning building.

Gene remembers hearing the mother cry out, “my baby,” as he rushed into the apartment of a sixth-floor walk-up.  He had to get down on his knees to crawl through the smoke-filled room, with his hands reaching out to feel for the child. When he found her, she was unconscious. Gene brought her out of the smoke, gave her mouth to mouth and then rushed her down the six flights of steps to the ambulance.

That was 36 years ago!

Today, that little girl, Deirdre Taylor, is now a mom and an emergency room nurse. She left her family in Virginia to help New Your City hospitals during the pandemic. While there, she searched for the firefighter who she had tried to find so many times before, just to say thank you for saving her life.

And, she did track him down! Now, 75 and retired, he was only too happy to reconnect with the little girl that he saved all those years ago. He was proud she became an emergency room nurse.

Check out more on this story in The Washington Post.

Kix’s Response:

I feel that we need to recognize both of these heroes – Gene Pugliese, retired New Your City firefighter, for his bravery and Deirdre Taylor for volunteering to be on the frontlines of the pandemic.

You are both our ACC Heroes!




Nominate a Hero of the Week

Now, we want to know who has made a difference in your life. Nominate a local firefighter, police officer, EMT or someone who is serving our country in the military. It could even be a neighbor, family member or friend who lent a crucial helping hand. Let us know all about the person who you feel is a real life hero by emailing us here and please feel free to send us a picture!

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