The World needs real heroes like Julio Gonzalez, Pedro Nevarez and Wesley Autrey.
Two New York men are being hailed as heroes after catching a toddler as he fell four storeys from a fire escape.
Julio Gonzalez and Pedro Nevarez saw three-year-old Timothy Addo dangling from a railing and rushed to position themselves underneath him.
As the boy lost his grip, he hit a tree branch, bounced off the chest of one of the men and landed in the other's arms.
'Hero of Harlem'
Police said Timothy crawled out of a fifth-floor window in the Bronx while his babysitter was briefly distracted. He then fell through a gap to the fire escape below, 40ft (12.2m) above the street.
I'm not a hero - I just did what any other father would do
Pedro Nevarez, 40
"He was hanging on for dear life. We ran over and stood underneath so we could catch him," Julio Gonzalez, 43, told the New York Post.
The toddler hit Mr Nevarez in the chest so hard he knocked him over. But after the incident, the 40-year-old insisted the pair had just done the obvious thing.
"I'm not a hero. I just did what any other father would do. When you're a father, you would do this whether it's your child or not," Mr Nevarez said.
Police said they had spoken to the babysitter and that an investigation was under way.
NY toasts Subway Superman after death-defying rescue
WESLEY Autrey is a hero. For once the word cheapened by overuse is the only one that is appropriate.
Mr Autrey was standing on the platform of a New York subway station with his two daughters when he noticed a young man having a fit. He put a pen in the man's mouth to keep him from swallowing his tongue.
The 19-year-old film student, Cameron Hollopeter, recovered enough to get to his feet but then staggered and fell backwards off the platform on to the tracks.
Not only was a train approaching, but the subway system has a third rail that carries 600 volts of electricity.
"I had a split-second decision to make," Mr Autrey recalled.
"Do I let the train run him over and hear my daughters screaming and see the blood? Or do I jump in?"
He jumped, holding Mr Hollopeter down between the tracks as the screeching train ran over the top of them. Several carriages rolled over the men before the driver could bring the train to a stop.
"Am I dead?" Mr Hollopeter asked. Mr Autrey replied: "No, we're under the train."
When the 50-year-old construction worker yelled to the people on the platform that they were OK, he heard applause.
The two men had to remain on the tracks for 20 minutes until the power was turned off.
When he spoke to the media later, Mr Autrey still had dirt on his beanie.
And like a true hero he continued on his way. He went to work, converting classrooms into a library at public school 380 — otherwise known as John Wayne Elementary School.
Not surprisingly, he is the toast of New York. The New York Post called him the Subway Superman.
Michael Daly, a columnist for the Daily News, suggested they should rename the John Wayne school "after a real hero".
Mr Autrey is being feted by talk shows and showered with praise.
His rewards include a trip to Disney World and a year's free subway travel.
He has been honoured by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The New York Film Academy, where Mr Hollopeter is a student, has given him $US5000 ($A6340) plus $US5000 scholarships for his daughters, Shuqui, 6, and Syshe, 4. Donald Trump has given Mr Autrey a cheque for $US10,000.
Mr Bloomberg presented him with the city's highest award for civic achievement, calling him "a great man — a man who makes us all proud to be New Yorkers".
Past recipients of the Bronze Medallion have included World War II general Douglas MacArthur, Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali.
Before Mr Autrey, the last person honoured was Felix Vasquez, who caught a baby thrown from a burning building in 2005.