KIRKWOOD (WBNG) -- On Thursday, Sergeant Robert Bloom was awarded the certificate of extraordinary action by the Red Cross for helping save his neighbors when their house caught fire on Nov. 1, 2019.
It's a national award given to those who saved or sustained a life.
As a police officer, Bloom is trained for high stress situations. He says it was the react and think about it later mindset that made him rush into the house to save his neighbors.
"These people only live a couple streets away from where I live," Bloom said. "It's wonderful that in the event there's an emergency that it doesn't need that specialized training to do anything. It's that will to act."
Bloom he noticed his two neighbors, Gary Zisko and John Welch, standing in Zisko's driveway as the house was in flames with Zisko's wife and son, Bonnie and Jeffery, who is bedridden, stuck inside.
As all three men entered the house they urged Bonnie to leave the house and carried Jeffery to safety.
After looking back, Bloom says he didn't give what he did any thought until afterwards.
"You think about what worked, what didn't and what we would do differently next time. You don't think about it then, you just go to work," he said.
Even after receiving the certificate, Bloom says he's still not comfortable with the recgonition.
"We do a thankless job a lot of the time. I realize I did this as a civilian. I wasn't on the job that day. It's really nice to be able to help somebody. I can look myself in the mirror and say somebody's life is better because of what we did that day," he said.
Red Cross regional CEO, Alan Turner, says Bloom's act of shows a great representation of the New York State Police Department in Broome County.
"They're willing to sacrifice themselves for the better for the community," Turner told 12 News.