NC first responders honored as 'Hometown Heroes'

— Governor Pat McCrory recognized first responders Tuesday for their bravery and dedication at a ceremony in Cary, saying “it’s the least we can do.” The event was put on by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.

“I’m very proud of the job, I’m very proud of the profession,” said Officer David Cohen of the Cary Police Department.

Cary police officer David Cohen was honored for saving a two year old boy from drowning. Witnesses said the young officer refused to give up on the toddler

“That’s when overdrive kicked in I ran as fast as I could,” Cohen said. “Started resuscitative measures and luckily was able to start him breathing again.”

“He’s setting the example for many others,” said Susan Johnson Lewis, North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association board member. “I think we should go out of our way to thank them for what they do.”

When floodwaters from Hurricane Matthew swallowed parts of the state, Officer Kenneth Byrd and his partner Josh Woodard of the Wilson Police Department went to work.

“It was dark, said Byrd. “It was a little unnerving to be honest, it was chilling when we heard her screaming because we weren’t expecting to hear anything.”

What they heard were the screams of a missing woman.

“Come to find out she was in the water 4 hours hanging onto some roots,” Byrd said. “It was just a case of where God put us at the right place at the right time and everything worked out.”

McCrory recognized the responders, calling them heroes of their local communities and the state.

“To all the first responders, I just want to say thank you,” McCrory said. “This is the best of North Carolina.”

A special thank you to our friends at WRAL for helping out with this post.