A Rome jogger has become a hero after saving a teen who fell through the ice on the Barge Canal.

Photo Credit - Josh Hardesty

Josh Hardesty, a long time life guard and New York State court officer, was running on the Barge Canal in Rome Sunday when he heard someone calling for help. It was 14 year-old Brandon Blanchard who fell through the ice.

"He selflessly jumped into the water, breaking through the ice to get to the teen," says Brandon Hubal, Hardesty's best friend. "The boy couldn’t swim and was struggling to stay above the water."

Hardesty pulled the boy to safety before the EMS arrived a few minutes later. "He wasn't breathing and our family was so scared," says Blanchard's aunt Bette. "We can't thank Josh enough for being at the right place at the right time. He saved my nephew and is a hero."

Hubal couldn't agree more.  "We need more people like him."

The Rome Fire Department has been spending the past several weeks doing ice rescue training on the Barge Canal. With temperatures on the rise, the ice is becoming dangerous and the fire department wants to be prepared for any situation.

Photo Credit - Rome Fire Department