Graduate's Act Marks Year of Heroism in NYC

Graduate's Act Marks Year of Heroism in NYC

12/19/2013 

A recent national news story that detailed some of New York City’s most heroic acts in 2013 spotlighted Dennis Codrington ’12, a young SUNY Cortland graduate who played a key role in a daring subway rescue in February.

The personal trainer, who lives in New York City, jumped into action along with two others when a stranger fell several feet off a subway platform and was knocked unconscious, according to a recent Associated Press story celebrating a year that saw several Good Samaritans save the lives of strangers while risking their own.

“I was just sitting there talking with my friends and everything seemed normal,” said Codrington, a former kinesiology: fitness development major who was on his way home from a birthday party and changing trains at the Columbus Circle station in the early morning Feb. 17. “There was this one guy, it didn’t seem like he was with anybody. He was just there by himself and it looked like something was wrong.

“From what we could tell, he got a little too close to the tracks and just tumbled in.”

Many onlookers panicked and a few screamed, Codrington said.

He saw another young man, Garrett O’Hanlon, jump down and make his way to the unconscious man on the tracks, located roughly six feet below the subway platform.

“He couldn’t pick (the victim) up by himself,” Codrington, 24, said. “I glanced at the clock and it said something like two minutes (until the subway train would arrive).”

That’s when Codrington’s impulses took over. He made the jump down to the track bed while O’Hanlon’s sister pleaded for them to hurry. Codrington’s friend, Matt Foley, joined them and together they lifted the unconscious man close enough to the subway platform so that others could pull him to safety.

“It was pretty nerve-wracking,” Codrington said. “We saw (subway train) lights and everything like that, but it all happened really quickly.”

Dennis Codrington '12
Dennis Codrington '12 has been in the spotlight this year for his courageous, split-second action to save a stranger. 

Each of the three rescuers reached up to the subway platform and they were pulled up with relative ease.

“I’m a personal trainer, so I stay fairly fit,” said Codrington who works for the Equinox chain of fitness facilities in New York City.

He joined a small group that stayed with the man until first responders arrived and answered questions from authorities and a reporter on scene. But even 10 months later, he still has not learned the man’s identity or any other details about him.

“We still don’t know what happened to him,” Codrington said.

In the days that followed, he repeated his account to several media outlets. As it turns out, it was one of at least a dozen heroic New York City rescues in 2013, according to the recent Associated Press story. Friends, family members and even complete strangers called Codrington soon after to offer words of praise.

For Codrington, however, the experience was a blur.

On the train to his Washington Heights home following the rescue, he noticed a large cut on his hand that still was bleeding.

“Shortly afterwards, I asked myself: ‘What just happened?’” Codrington said. “I didn’t even realize I had injured my hand.

“I guess there just was a lot of adrenaline pumping through me at the time.”


More News

SUNY Cortland's Ability to Handle Winter Storms Earns National Certification

SUNY Cortland's Ability to Handle Winter Storms Earns National Certification

National Weather Service certification means the College is prepared for hazardous conditions.


College, City to Benefit from Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections

College, City to Benefit from Bicycle and Pedestrian Connections

$2 million REDC award will fund new construction in the City of Cortland.


Campus Cheers Area Children with Gifts

Campus Cheers Area Children with Gifts

Red Dragons collected toys and raised funds to brighten the holidays for local families.


Raquette Lake Provides Fashion Photo Setting

Raquette Lake Provides Fashion Photo Setting

Vera Bradley models carried handbags as physical education majors looked on.


Freya’s Journey: From an Ethiopian Orphanage to SUNY Cortland’s Dean’s List

Freya’s Journey: From an Ethiopian Orphanage to SUNY Cortland’s Dean’s List

Senior human service studies major has overcome many obstacles.


Cortland Among Nation's Top 10 "Best Small Cities for New Grads"

Cortland Among Nation's Top 10

The city was lauded for its affordable rents, job opportunities and entertainment options.


UPD Chin Hairs Raise Money for Cancer Awareness

UPD Chin Hairs Raise Money for Cancer Awareness

Officers raised $1,800 during No-Shave November campaign.


Caterer Crafts Old Main as Gingerbread House

Caterer Crafts Old Main as Gingerbread House

A festive three-by-five foot replica of Old Main is on display in Corey Union.


SUNY Cortland Supports 2017 CROP Hunger Walk

SUNY Cortland Supports 2017 CROP Hunger Walk

College organizations raised nearly $5,700 to fight hunger locally and around the world.


Michelle Congdon Honored for Outstanding Service

Michelle Congdon Honored for Outstanding Service

Michelle Congdon received the President’s Award for Excellence in Classified Service.


Explore

Visit

Contact