Boston Local 318 Rail Division Member Saves Lives in Fourth of July House Fire

IAM Local 318 (District 19) member Adam Ayer who works as a Lead Machinist at Amtrak in Boston and was recently featured in a recent shop visit video highlighting the IAM Rail Division visit with Amtrak and Keolis Members in Boston, He is now being honored for his incredible bravery on July 4.

Ayer also serves as a Sgt. 1st Class of the 101st Field Artillery in the Massachusetts National Guard, where one of the duties includes handling the cannons for the annual Fourth of July Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. For the past 13 years, he has been responsible for firing ceremonial cannons during the iconic 1812 Overture. 

After fulfilling his duty at the fireworks show, Ayer, a dedicated IAM member, and Sgt. 1st Class, made a pit stop at a local convenience store to grab a soda. Upon returning to his car, he noticed flames reflected in his window. Without hesitation, Ayer sprang into action, immediately calling 911 and rushing towards the burning house. 

In a split second, Adam dialed 911 and fearlessly entered the smoke-filled house to locate its occupants. Inside the house, Ayer discovered a disoriented man wandering amidst the flames. He guided the man to safety, ensuring his escape from the dangerous situation. Adam also went above and beyond by rescuing three dogs trapped in the house. Tragically, the three cats in the residence did not survive the fire. 

“Adam’s heroic actions epitomize our union members’ courage and unwavering dedication. He is a true hero, saving lives on our great nation’s birthday,” said Josh Hartford, Special Assistant to the International President for the IAM Rail Division. “We take immense pride in having him as a valued member of the IAM.” 

Adam expressed gratitude towards the firefighters who promptly extinguished the flames. 

“I acted instinctively. There was no time to think,” said Ayer. “Seeing the entire back of the house engulfed in flames, I knew I couldn’t stand back. My military training and role as a Lead Machinist at Amtrak played a significant role. In the military and on the rail, split-second decisions are crucial. Without a second thought, I entered that burning house to save lives. My son, who means the world to me, is already proud of my military service that included a tour in Iraq. It’s truly remarkable to have him witness my recognition as a hero in the community.”

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