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NIAGARA FALLS – Two Niagara falls firefighters were honored as co-firefighters of the year by the New York State Professional Association of Firefighters during its recent convention in Syracuse.

Capt. John Carey and firefighter Bart DeRosa jumped into the Niagara River May 7 to rescue a man who was stranded on a rock in the rapids. Police had negotiated with the man for more than six hours when he suddenly jumped into the river.

The two firefighters, in harnesses tethered to the shore, were able to wade into the river and pull the man to safety, just 20 yards from the brink of the falls.

Mike McManus, president of the state organization, praised the two firefighters for their “selfless leap” into the river to save someone.