A hero’s story. No doubt more such will be heard of in the coming weeks and months.

Koshita, 57, one of 28 members of the Second Otsuchi Fire Unit, rushed to his seaside station in the afternoon of March 11 after he felt the first massive jolt of the earthquake.

There, he found an electrical blackout had put the station’s siren system out of action.

Amid the frantic melee in the minutes after the magnitude-9.0 tremor struck, Toru Suzuki, a 41-year-old fellow firefighter, also reached the station, but the older man waved him off.

“You go. Don’t worry about me,” Koshita told Suzuki.

Koshita grabbed an old-fashioned bell, only kept in storage as a back-up for the siren, held it tight and climbed to the roof, where he started ringing it vigorously.

“It was really loud,” said Kaito Yamasaki, a 16-year-old high school student, who heard it as he ran to safety. “The fireman was brave. I’m proud of him.”

The sound echoed for several minutes across the village until the giant waves came crashing over the horizon, sweeping away the station, its watch tower, and Koshita himself.

via AFP: Saving lives, Japanese firefighter gave his.