For Immediate Release
Posted: June 21, 2023


Amy McLaughlin, Public Information Officer
(603) 931-9083 |

Carnegie Medal Awarded to Local New Hampshire Man Jose M. Pichardo for His Heroic Actions in Saving a Woman’s Life

NASHUA, New Hampshire – New Hampshire State Fire Marshal Sean P. Toomey and Nashua Fire Chief Steve M. Buxton hosted an honorary ceremony presenting the Carnegie Medal Award to Jose M. Pichardo. The award presentation was held at the Nashua Fire Rescue Station on 70 E. Hollis Street, Nashua, NH on Tuesday, June 20, 2023.

The Carnegie Medal is a prestigious award considered one of the highest civilian honors in the U.S. and Canada. The recipients of this honor are civilians who knowingly and voluntarily risk death or serious physical injury to an extraordinary degree to save the life of another person. Nominations are submitted to the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission and are evaluated against a clearly defined set of criteria and requirements, largely established in 1904.
On October 1, 2021, a 97-year-old woman was rescued in Nashua, NH from her burning home thanks to a passerby who responded. Jose M. Pichardo was driving home from work when he saw flames coming from the back of Shirley M. Buder’s home. Pichardo kicked down the locked front door and crawled toward the sound of Buder’s voice, where he found her sitting in a chair in her living room. Telling her to remain in the chair, Pichardo dragged the chair to the front door and onto the home’s porch where another man assisted Pichardo in carrying Buder in the chair, away from the house. Buder inhaled smoke, was hospitalized, and recovered in two days. Pichardo also suffered from smoke inhalation but recovered the following day.

Jose Pichardo is the fiftieth recipient to receive the Carnegie Medal in New Hampshire.