ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Like many others, Jim Cunningham flew to Boston to support his wife, who was participating in the Boston Marathon.
Flanked by his 13-year-old daughter, the St. Petersburg firefighter headed to the finish line to greet his wife. But while en route, Cunningham heard the first blast.
"It sounded like a transformer going off," said Cunningham in a press release.
Cunningham said he thought little of the first blast and kept making his way to meet his wife. Within seconds, he heard a second, larger explosion. Cunningham moved his daughter to safety in a nearby hotel and rushed to the blast area to help.
Cunningham helped administer medical care to victims and triage critical patients.
"I did what I could to stop the bleeding," he said.
According to Lt. Joel Granata with St. Petersburg Fire Rescue, Cunningham instructed civilians to provide appropriate care to the wounded and directed EMS to the most critically injured.
"This honorable display of bravery shows that this is not only how Jim performs on duty with SPFR, but how he lives his life on a daily basis," Lt. Granata said.
Cunningham said what he experienced and witnessed is finally hitting him. On his way from the airport, he says he pulled off on to the side of the road to take a few minutes with his family.