Heroes Among Us: 5 acts of heroism by ordinary JamaicansMonday, October 18, 2021
There's a reason the saying ''we likkle but we tallawah'' is so popular in Jamaica. It's because it sums up perfectly the tenaciousness of the Jamaican people.
As the nation celebrates our National Heroes on Monday, we also acknowledge the heroes that walk among us every day.
OBSERVER ONLINE has compiled a list of five times in recent history that ordinary Jamaicans made heroic decisions.
In 2017, then 24-year-old Tremayne Brown was dubbed the ''Trench Town Hero'' after he risked his life to rescue 12-year-old Renaldo Reynolds from the raging floodwaters of a gully in the community.
Reynolds said that on his way home from school, he was encouraged by some friends to go in the gully, despite previously being warned by his mother not to do so. He was quickly swept away and that's when Brown sprang into action.
After hearing the youngster's cries, Brown jumped into the water, grabbed hold of the boy and then held onto a tree branch until they were eventually helped out of the water.
When nine-year-old Zoevaughn Reid first smelled smoke in his Hatfield, Manchester home in 2020, his immediate reaction was to ensure that his two-year-old brother, who was asleep, was alright. According to Zoevaughn's mother, Zana Mullings, she was overwhelmed with relief and shock when she saw her two-year-old child safe outside the blaze even as she realised she had exited without him.
It was Zoevaughn, keeping his head as others panicked, who picked up the sleeping child and took him from the burning bedroom occupied by him, his siblings and mother. “Glad and happy”, were the words he used to describe his mental state while rescuing his brother.
Firefighters are considered heroes every day because they risk their lives to protect the nation. However, watching the firefighters from the Spanish Town fire station save 66-year-old George Smart from a 55-foot pit on Jones Avenue in St Catherine earlier this year was special.
Back in May, criminals reportedly abducted Smart, a taxi driver in Spanish Town, stole his vehicle and threw him into the pit. Once the firefighters got the call, they devised a rescue plan that saw one member of the team being lowered into the pit and bringing Smart back up with him. The three-hour-long rescue left the whole team feeling overwhelmed at a “job well done”.
Ten-year-old Parissa Samuels made headlines this year after her quick thinking and fearlessness saved her three-year-old cousin, Nicholea Thompson, from drowning in a pool.
Parissa and her family were enjoying a relaxing day when home security cameras showed the toddler falling into the pool backwards.
In the footage, Nicholea can be seen struggling underwater for a while until she stopped moving, looking lifeless for about 11 seconds. After being alerted to what was happening, her older cousin, Parissa, jumped into the pool, bringing the three-year-old up for air. The family's neighbours also jumped into action, performing CPR and taking the child to the hospital.
The nation was captivated last week when news broke that nine-year-old Phylisa Prussia was abducted from her St Thomas home. While the nation prayed, the residents from Phylisa's community of Bath rallied together to search for her.
On Friday a massive search party of some 500 persons consisting of community members, personnel from the JCF, several government ministries and other agencies took to the streets. Phylisa was found alive on Saturday.