When land surveyor Carl Loando risked his own life to rescue an 85-year-old woman from a house fire in 2011, he wasn’t trying to be a hero. He and his partner, Christopher Neuman, both with Hawaii-based ControlPoint Surveying, had been working on a boundary survey in the area when they saw smoke coming from the home. Learning that the woman was trapped inside, Loando rushed in and pulled her to safety as the entire home became engulfed in flames. “We just happened to be in the right place and time to help someone in need,” Loando said.

Loando’s heroic actions were recognized by the Honolulu Fire Department, which awarded him a Civilian Medal of Valor, and by the Hawaii Chapter of the American Red Cross, which named him a Hero of the Year in 2011. On Dec. 19, 2012, Loando was one of 18 individuals honored with a Carnegie Medal, an award given by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

Loando said he is thrilled to receive the award-not because it recognizes his own actions, but because it is one more way to raise awareness about the land surveying profession. The publicity he has received since the incident has already had an impact. “Over the past year, people have been friendlier and more respectful of field surveyors at work,” he said. “This award is positive news for our profession.”

Media coverage of the incident and award can be found at the following links:

Land surveyor to receive Carnegie Medal for rescuing woman from burning home

Land surveyor chosen for Carnegie hero award

Fire engulfs home, critically injures couple in their 80s