One quick-thinking broker helped save a man’s life last year and, on Sunday, was rewarded for his efforts by the Toronto Police Department in a formal ceremony.
“A year and a half ago, it was a Saturday night and I was going home, crossing the Leaside bridge,” John Panagakos of Dominion Lending Centres Home Financial told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I saw an individual who jumped up on the railing and it looked like he was going to jump over.”
The event honoured a number of citizens who displayed bravery under extraordinary conditions. For Panagakos, that meant pulling a U-turn and heading back to where he saw the man standing to try to coax him off the ledge.
“He looked distraught, I told him not to do anything,” Panagakos said. “I called 911 and I stayed there until the police came. He was standing over the DVP and the police came… I waited an hour.”
Eventually the police arrived on the scene and Panagakos, who had noticed the man smoking, offered him a cigarette – a small gesture that lead to the man deciding to come down.
As for the recognition, Panagakos was surprised when he received word.
“A couple weeks ago, my wife told me I got a letter from the police,” he said. “It was a ceremony and it doesn’t say what it was for… I didn’t realize what it was for a while; I was totally shocked that I would get an award for that.”
After all, he didn’t even consider not going back to check on the man.
“Yesterday I was being interviewed by CTV News and they asked why you I did it,” Panagakos said. “It wasn’t a second thought for me to stop and I’m glad I did.”